Student claims her 'bless you' caused suspension

Student Claims She Was Suspended for Saying 'Bless You'
Student Claims She Was Suspended for Saying 'Bless You'

NEWBERN, Tenn. - Who would have thought a sneeze in school and a "bless you" would capture so much attention.

According to the website, a student at Dyer County High School in Newbern was suspended for saying "bless you" to another student.

The superintendent of Dyer County Schools hasn't commented on exactly happened, but some of Newbern's residents are more than eager to share their opinions.

One of them is Thomas Autry.

"I do it all the time, right. My wife sneezes at home and I say, 'bless you,'" said Autry.

Autry heard about the alleged "bless you" incident while he was on vacation in Indiana.

"And they were talking about it in Indiana. About the girl saying, 'bless you' when somebody sneezed and they suspended her for it. And that's ridiculous," said Autry.

On the website, Kendra Turner tells her side of the story in which she said "bless you" to a student in keyboarding class, after the student sneezed.

According to Turner, who is a senior, she was reprimanded by the teacher, who said, "We will not have Godly speaking in my class."

Turner said she then told the teacher that her pastor said she had a "Constitutional right ... First Amendment Freedom of Speech."

Turner said she was sent to the office and suspended from the keyboarding class.

While the Dyer County Schools superintendent has not commented on the alleged incident, we were told there is a strict policy in the keyboarding classroom against "outbursts," including saying "bless you" when someone sneezes.

We're told the policy is in place to assure students are not distracted, especially during tests.

David Nicholson, who lives in Newbern, said he's waiting to hear the school's version of what happened, but for now thinks the student was treated unfairly .

"Oh no. She should not have been suspended for it at all. If anything, the common courtesy back would be just like, 'thank you.' Not, 'hey you're suspended,'" said David Nicholson.

We are still waiting for a response from the Dyer County Schools superintendent.

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