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. charlie

    Here's a way to not get in trouble with the school: lay out a rug and start praying in Arabic to Allah and Mecca. NY has no problem with that. Christianity, however, is a no-no.

    December 16, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anchorite

      You, sir, are an idiot.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • dea2

      Christian students may pray where-ever they want too, it's the schools who can't lead the prayers.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • pauleky

      Yeah, 'cause no one EVER oppresses Muslims. Seriously, do any people of charlie's ilk every actually think?

      December 16, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Typical Christian...

      This was about blocking the hallway, not about praying. They were told by teachers to let other students pass many times and ignored them. Their parents should be ashamed...

      December 16, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • DYBO

      How about the flag salute each morning -one nation under God-

      December 16, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Anchorite

    Tebow may have started it, but it's just an Internet posing craze, like planking. I suppose if the Internet started a craze of setting houses on fire in the name of Jesus and kids did it and got suspended, they would say that was discriminating against Christians, too.

    December 16, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • TJK

      You sir, are an idiot.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • DC

      TJK, I can't believe you called him...'sir' !

      December 16, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Layber

    Clearly a special Ed school.

    December 16, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. dea2

    First of all, in school suspension is not real suspension. They just have to complete their classwork in a separate area from the rest of the students for a few days. They won't even be marked absent.

    Secondly, it had nothing to do with Tebowing, or prayer. It was for blocking the hallways, which is a hazard as anyone who works in a high school knows, and it wasn't their first time doing it. They had been warned before about blocking the halls and chose to ignore the warning. They now have to pay the price for their bad decisions. What if someone had tripped trying to go around these kids and broken an arm or a leg? Who would get blamed, the students or the school?

    Free speech is not protected in school settings, according to the Supreme Court. However, it is the school's responsibility to teach and protect the students, even from each others stupid stunts. I applaud the school for taking the stunt seriously and for giving only warnings to the first time offenders, while giving ISS to the two who chose not to respect the rules and the administrators. I hope their parents are very proud of the disrespect and disregard their children showed their fellow students, the teachers, and the administrators.

    December 16, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. pauleky

    Keep it to yourself, please. I would never, ever tell anyone what to believe, but when you're in a place subsidized by tax dollars, keep your religious beliefs out of them. I know Christians think this is oppression, but I know most Christians would be throwing a fit if these boys were touting atheism.

    December 16, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. popseal

    Run for your lives, Christians are coming. We all know they blow up stuff to make converts.......wait, that's that other religion.
    Seriously, I think it's funny that the secularist is so sensitive, or intimidated, or insecure that he reacts to such harmless symbolism. Maybe secular humanists should wear a helmet when they go outside so as to prevent head injuury caused by different world views than their own.

    December 16, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Corwin7

      Maybe when "secularists" start blowing up people in abortion clinics or burning them at the stake because they are "witches" or torturing them into mouthing false allegence to thier faith you can criticize them...until then STFU!

      December 17, 2011 at 2:54 am | Report abuse |
  7. james

    I was a Fool in scool so i know that those guys should just study hard a stop trying to be Attract attention.

    December 16, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      "I was a Fool in scool"


      December 16, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joe T.

    This is essentially the same thing as "planking". Has nothing to do with religion. Just some stupid kids who were warned and then had punishment carried out, as should be the case. Kudos to the school!

    December 16, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. The Instructor

    I seemed to have seen a _ _ _ _ _ grin o their faces as if they weren't in prayer but trying to get their 15 minutes of fame. Lack of respect? I think so.

    December 16, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Observer

    Hopefully, the picture shows them hitting themselves in the head.

    December 16, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. j

    Provocative fools disrupt school and then play the victim when they have to face the consequences of their actions. Opposed Christians everywhere rise up in support. News at 11.

    December 16, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jimmy

    They needed to get their 15 minutes of fame – in a busy hallway. Why not the LI Expressway, dolts.


    December 16, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bob

    Tim Tebow needs to get hit by a bus and die. Tired of hearing his name everywhere and I'm certainly tired of having him push his religion on everyone. Just die already you waste of space.

    December 16, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. RIALgal

    They were warned and chose to ignore the warning. They are paying the price for the decision. Life is about making the right choices and they clearly did not to that in this incident.

    December 16, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Seriously?

    Ugh. This is how invasive our lawsuit-happy culture has become. The school has to hand out suspensions now for some silly idiotic behavior because if somebody had stepped on one of their hands or something they would've gone all crybaby and levied a lawsuit and then we'd be up to our ears in THAT.

    What should've happened: the school hands out no suspensions, and when one of those kids gets kicked or stepped on for blocking up the hallway and they go to complain, the school tells them, "Well, hey, that's what you get for blocking up the hallway! DUH!"

    December 16, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
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