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 itâ€™s wonderful that our students look up to sports heroes such as Mr. Tebow, but we canâ€™t allow studentsÂ to create unsafe situations in school," Superintendent Nancy Carney said in a statement.
"The students stated that there was nothing religious about their actions andÂ that they were just having fun. We hope that these students and all of our students continue to look up to theÂ positive role models in public life; we just encourage them to do it in a responsible way."