December 16th, 2011
07:08 PM ET

'Tebowing' high school students suspended for blocking hallway

Two "Tebowing" high school students have been suspended for blocking the hallway while mimicking the quarterback's famous prayer pose.

The boys were two of four students to trigger a wave of some 40 students kneeling in between classes, Riverhead High School Principal David Wicks said. The students caused a safety hazard, he said. The incident was captured on a smartphone and posted to YouTube.

"It was basically just a tribute to Tim Tebow," The New York Post quoted one of the boys as saying. "It was more than a religious thing. There was some of that involved obviously, because he prays. I guess it was basically like a moment of silence."

The two students received in-school suspension because they had been warned before about pulling disruptive stunts in the middle of the hallway, Wick said. The others received a verbal warning.

"This is about students causing an unsafe situation by blocking the hallways," Wicks said. "This has nothing to do with Tim Tebow or punishing the students for their religion beliefs. If they'd been sitting in the hallway with their legs crossed they'd receive the same discipline."

Tebow mania is sweeping the nation, inspired by the Denver Broncos quarterback's overt religiosity and knack for winning despite less than stellar stats.

"I think it’s wonderful that our students look up to sports heroes such as Mr. Tebow, but we can’t allow students to create unsafe situations in school," Superintendent Nancy Carney said in a statement.

"The students stated that there was nothing religious about their actions and that they were just having fun. We hope that these students and all of our students continue to look up to the positive role models in public life; we just encourage them to do it in a responsible way."

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Filed under: Football • Pro football • Sports • Tim Tebow
soundoff (588 Responses)
  1. Golly

    Well gosh, golly, gee willickers, as Tebow would say.

    December 16, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • CMFP

      well said.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. fo

    How stupid... if the school leaders would just ignore it, they would tire of it and it would be just another fad. Putting it on the national media only increases the participation and frequency.

    December 16, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • TeBowTie

      Ummm...the school leaders didn't put it in the national was uploaded to youtube from a smartphone. I'm sure the school would rather it not be there.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Primewonk


      But (you know there's always a but) – what if there had been students rushing through the halls to go see what was going on, and someone fell, got pushed, tripped, etc. and kids were injured.

      If the parents of the injured kids learned that this behavior had happened before, and nothing was done, do you think they'd sue?

      Unfortunately, this is one of those times when you are screwed no matter what you choose.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • vintage274

      Haven't ever taught in a high school, have you? The bell system depends on getting hundreds or even thousands of kids from one class to another on very large, widespread campuses. There are a lot of safety hazards involved in normal class changes in which there are no obstacles or disruptions in the halls. Some schools even use a one-way system in which everyone has to travel in the same direction because otherwise chaos would ensue. Tardy students are given warnings or punishments which takes away from already precious class time. There are always students who find it funny to disrupt the halls, create traffic grids, and watch the fun as tardy procedures are thrown into high gear. Ignoring these kids just leads to bigger, better, more elaborate schemes. Teenagers being what they are are likely to indulge themselves in these behaviors. When adults defend them, it just makes things worse. Follow the rules, fellows, and no one gets hurt.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. B

      You can't ignore something that disrupts the day-to-day of school functionality. THAT'S stupid.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Guest

    I dont believe in god and im not a football fan
    but this punishment is too harsh

    December 16, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angel

      I'm praying for your salvation and that you will accept Jesus Christ, the son of God so that you will not die and go to HELL. Do you believe in HELL? Because that's real and the fallen angels of Satan's armies are busy at work in the world today because he knows that his time is short and he and his crew will be cast into the fires of hell along with YOU if you don't accept and BELIEVE BECAUSE THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT ARE REAL. I dare you to INVITE GOD INTO YOUR LIFE. You'll never be the same and you'll be so overjoyed and filled with His peace that you did.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • TeBowTie

      What is too harsh about giving students who are repeat offenders a day of in-school suspension? The suspension wasn't just for the Tebowing. We know this because the other kids who were first time offenders just got a verbal warning.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • DoubleDogDare

      Angel – I dare you to shut up and quit pushing your religion on others.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Concerned

    If your child would have tripped over one of these students and broken an arm, would it be a concern then? This isn't about the act of Tebowing, this is about following the rules and not blocking a hall entrance. Work in a public secondary school and you will understand.

    December 16, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • cfristoe

      If my child had tripped over someone kneeling in the hall and broke their arm, I would have said, "Why weren't you looking where you were going?"

      December 16, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Who

      Yes it would be a concern. How clumsy is my child anyway?

      December 16, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tebow

      Your child is an idiot if he trips over these kids who are clearly in his way.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      You can trip on your own shoelace and break an arm.... there are an endless "what if" scenarios. I think it's a safer perspective to simply look at the action that happened.... a few kids dropped to a knee. Whether they were praying or not isn't the issue.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Observer


      Your child is a bigger idiot if they disobey authorities and endanger other kids.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bob

    So strange how so-called "Christians" are so insecure about their beliefs that they insist on cramming them down everyone's throats at every opportunity.

    What ever happened to "Christians" obeying the Biblical admonition to pray and worship in private?

    More of the American Taliban at work, one supposes.

    December 16, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Zenichimaro


    December 16, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Xarius

    People...this is simple.
    they were warned about disruptive behavor in the hall.
    They didnt listen and did this anyway. Right in front of a staircase.
    Punishment is required in this instance. They earned it.
    This had nothing to do with religion.

    December 16, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jeremy

    Still waiting for someone to make a Buddy Tebow doll, like the one's they had in the movie Dogma...(Buddy Christ)
    As far as the Principal Wicks, are you kidding me, blocking the hallway? Suspension? Whatever happened to detention? Would hate to get in a fight in Principal Wicks school. Probably drag you out back and put a bullet in your head!!!

    December 16, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tim Tebow

    Free the Riverhead 4, my friends. You can contribute to their legal defense by sending a check to the Denver Broncos. Just write "for Tim Tebow" on the envelope, I'll know what it's for. Please remember these brave young men in your prayers. God bless you all. Good afternoon.

    December 16, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      These "brave young men" disobeyed authorities and endangered other students. You really don't know what "brave" means.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Douglas Riggle

    Let me guess.... if students dropped to a knee to tie their shoes, would they also be suspended?

    December 16, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • DoubleDogDare

      No, why would someone get suspended for tying their shoes?

      December 16, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • vintage274

      Yep, if theya ll did it at the same time. I taught high school for 20 years and just about saw it all. It's usually groups of guys (girls are too busy gossiping or in the rest room applying makeup ;). They do things like all drop their books at the same time or have one of their group fake trip and everyone else gather around to attract a crowd. Pretty soon there's a traffic jam and kids are in way too close proximity. The chances for a shoving match or a fight are high (and usually result). Hundreds of kids are late for class. Tardy punishments have to be handed out. Class time is disrupted, and the original group thinks themselves VERY, VERY funny. It's stupid, childish, petty behavior; it breaks school rules and safety rules; and it needs to be punished plain and simple. The best thing to do with those sort of kids is put them in charge of something (like hall patrol or devising a better system for traffic control) so they have an outlet for their excess energy and the feeling they are needed in the system. The disruptive kid who's made classroom aide almost always does a fantastic job.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Portland tony

    Kids will just about anything to "show off" But if you've never been in a large school between class breaks, you won't understand the chaos. Doing a Tebow is dangerous in a hallway full of half running students. They couldn't wait till lunch.

    December 16, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ProperVillain

    Nice to see schools over-react about nothing. I guess the school administrators were desperate to do something to justify their cushy jobs and bloated salaries...

    December 16, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. B

      It's not nothing. It's called discipline, at it happens EVERY DAY in schools where students disobey authority. Teachers and administrators have millions of better things to do other than trying to punish kids for no reason. Incidentally, administrators don't have cushy jobs. They have difficult, tiring jobs and aren't paid enough to deal with terrible students, idiot parents, and people like you.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sad day

    If Tebow won the superbowl. He is the ANTICHRIST and will have anti-christ baby. Show us Miracles and Job Creation!!!

    December 16, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Stalin

    for the record..... suspension means you are no longer in school... detention..... i.e. being detained means you are still in school aka they got detention for blocking a hallway, which is fully justified. CNN loves to post crazy headlines in hopes of making a story...

    December 16, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • m

      you're an idiot. in-school suspension is different from detention and suspension from school.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Whatever

      Detention is related to the word detain, as in keep after. Detention is after school. They were suspended from regular school activity – in or out – this is a suspension. If they were required to stay after school for some time period, that would be a detention.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • vintage274

      Most suspensions these days are held in-school. The offenders do not go to their reguar classes. They go to a supervised detention hall where the day's work is brought to them and an adult oversees them doing it. They don't miss school; they don't get a free vacation on the streets; and they don't get to hang out with their friends at all. Kids hate in-school. It works.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Joe T.

    This had nothing to do with religion. It was just some troublemaking kids who were disobeying authority just to try to be funny. If they want to Tebow, they don't have to block the hallway to do it. I know these types of kids. They are some awful, disrespectful punks.

    December 16, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
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