Posts May Contain Affiliate Links. See Disclosure. All opinions my own.

In School Suspension for Saying Bless You

Last night as I was reading my Facebook thread, I saw this post from Kendra. As most of you know, my 5yo is adopted, and Kendra is her big sister. Here they are together…

Kendra and Sister

Anyway, here was Kendra’s post…

Are you kidding me? Kendra is 17 years old and is polite to a fault. She uses “yes, ma’am”, “yes sir”, “no ma’am”, “no sir” with anyone over 18, says bless you, is the first to offer her seat to someone older than herself… I once told her she didn’t need to use “ma’am” with me, because we’re related. She responded that it’s the way she’s been taught, and if I didn’t mind, she’d like to follow the rules her Mom has set… she’s got the manners of a saint. Okay, maybe not a saint, but she is one of the politest kids I’ve ever met.

Here’s what Kendra says happened…

A girl sitting right next me sneezed in class. I said “Bless You!” My teacher, Mrs. Kindle, asked “Who said that?” I said “me.” She said “Why did you say that?” I said “Because it is courtesy.” She said “Says who?” I said “Says my pastor.” She said “Well we don’t say that in my class.”

I asked her why it was a big deal to her. She yelled at me and said “We will not have Godly speaking in my class!” That is when I stood up and said “My pastor said I have a constitutional right -1st amendment freedom of speech.” She said “Not in my class you don’t.”

I said “I will defend my religion.” She said “You will not in my class because I trump everyone.” Then another student stepped in and said “You don’t over trump God.” So she sent me to the office and the assistants principal said “if I didn’t want to respect my teachers rules then maybe My pastor should teach me because my freedom or speech and religion does not work at their school.

Then they sent me to ISS (in school suspension). After I left the class room all my class mates stood up and defended me the teacher had to call assistants principal to control the class.

In school suspension for saying bless you. I think it is absolutely appalling.

I teach my kids to say bless you when anyone sneezes. In fact, if I sneeze and noone says it, I yell “Somebody bless me.”

Saying bless you is courtesy. While it may have it’s origins in religion, or superstition, saying bless you is merely an acknowledgement of empathy for the plight of someone else. It is an ordinary courtesy that comes to some of us as easily as breath.

A courtesy that, in my mind at least, deserves to be acknowledged rather than punished.

I was so aggravated over the situation that I posted about it in a blogger group I’m in, and Trisha from MomDot reached out to me and said she’d love to chat with Kendra. I made the introduction, via Facebook, and Trisha wrote about it.

I really don’t think she deserves to have an in school suspension on her record for saying “bless you.” I encouraged both Kendra and her Mom to contact the American Center for Law and Justice, should they not get anywhere with the school.

ETA- I thought I’d share the updated news coverage with you… – Columbia, South Carolina |

FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

ETA 08/20/14

The school did issue a statement to the State Gazette, which you can read here:

In the statement, the school confirmed that “she was placed in ISS for the remainder of the period.” Whether she chose to leave the class or chose to leave voluntarily was not addressed.

We teach our kids to be courteous, then they get in trouble for it. I think it’s ridiculous.

What do you think?

Please Note- All comments go into moderation on this site. Please be courteous and respectful in your replies. I do not mind opposing views, but I will NOT tolerate cursing, name-calling, or derogatory comments about Christianity or any other faith.

Posts may contain affiliate links. See Disclosure. All Opinions are My Own
Posts May Contain Affiliate Links. See Disclosure. All opinions my own.

After The Shooting Death of Michael Brown #PrayforFerguson

Not to far from home, the city of Ferguson is turmoil. The sparks of unrest flew after the shooting death of Michael Brown, on Saturday August 9th, by a Ferguson police officer. Michael Brown, who was reportedly unarmed, was shot him multiple times outside an apartment complex.

Some witnesses say he was surrendering, with his hands in the air to show that he was unarmed, when the officer opened fire. Authorities counter that he attacked the officer and tried to take his gun. Michael Brown’s body lay in the middle of the street for several hours after the shooting, before paramedics ever arrived. The FBI is now investigating.

What started as a peaceful vigil in memory of Michael Brown on Sunday, attended by hundreds, dissolved into rioting as crowds looted and burned stores, vandalized vehicles and taunted officers who tried to block access to parts of the city. The tensions cooled for a few hours, then Monday evening brought more dissension between the community and law enforcement. Protestors clashed with police until nearly midnight. Tear gas was employed. Rubber bullets were fired.

MLK quote, "Violence never brings permanent peace..."

I don’t know what happened in the moments before Michael Brown was killed, but I do know that the community will bear the scars of what happened after the shooting death of Michael Brown for years to come. I also know that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. The Watts Riots began on August 11, 1965.

My heart breaks for the family of Michael Brown, who expected to see him starting college this week. My heart breaks for the residents of Ferguson. My heart breaks for city and county St. Louis. I’m reminded of Jeremiah 29:7, which our Pastor often brings to our attention… “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”

So, I pray.

Posts may contain affiliate links. See Disclosure. All Opinions are My Own
Posts May Contain Affiliate Links. See Disclosure. All opinions my own.

Bing In The Classroom #adfreesearch #bingclassroom @Bing

I’m so thrilled to be partnering with Bing for today’s post. All opinions are my own.

Most of you know that I have three kids, ages 1, 5, and 6. My kids LOVE technology. My 1 year old has her toy remote, and the 5 and 6 year olds have their electronic gadgets and a computer that is used for schoolwork.   If your kids are anything like my kids, they love to use the computer.   We do have guidelines for screen time in our house, and they are restricted to what sites they are allowed to visit.  Knowing that we will be incorporating more internet research into our classroom next year,  I worry about online safety for them.   And that is with me there, monitoring their searches!   I can’t imagine how much more I would worry if my kids were using a computer in a classroom or school library that isn’t within arms reach of me!

Bing Classroom

As you know, I homeschool.  I realize that this is not a viable option for many of my readers, and many parents as a whole, which is why I wanted to share with you exciting news about Bing in the Classroom!

In schools, when students use search engines other than Bing, they are shown ads that can distract from their studies. With Bing in the Classroom, all advertising is removed, there are strict filters for adult content, and enhanced privacy protection.   Along with providing educational enhancements, Bing in the Classroom removes ads and blocks searches from being used for personalized advertising for all Bing searches done through the school’s network, making Bing the only major search engine to provide a search offering tailored specifically for the classroom.   Please note: As a part of the program, all searches performed with Bing in the Classroom will be ad free, however, websites discovered and visited via search will still provide ads. Students will not be served ads in the Bing experience.

Bing didn’t stop with #adfreesearch, though.  With the popular Bing Rewards program, you can help the school of your choice earn credits towards Surface tablets simply by signing up and searching with Bing. Now it is easier than ever to see how many Rewards credits an individual school has earned. You can search for any school by ZIP code and see how many other people are contributing, how many Surface tablets the school has earned so far, and how many credits are needed to earn the next Surface. And you can see if a school is registered for the search enhancements, so you can know if your kids are receiving ad-free, safer, more private search in the classroom when they choose Bing.

Anyone can earn credits just by searching the web with Bing—similar to a frequent flyer program. Credits can be donated to help get free Microsoft Surface tablets for schools.  It’s easy! Just go to the campaign landing page and select “Find your school” map in the lower right corner of the page.  Next, enter your school’s zip code and select the name of your school via the dropdown menu and select “Find”.   From here, select the “Support Your School” section and click on the “Try it now, FREE!” section.  You’ll be prompted to create a Microsoft account, or sign in with your Facebook account.  All you have to do is stay signed in as you search with Bing, and you earn credits for the school of your choice.

How Bingtastic is that?

Posts may contain affiliate links. See Disclosure. All Opinions are My Own
Posts May Contain Affiliate Links. See Disclosure. All opinions my own.

Cyber Bullying is Just Wrong #HugDontJudge #BeautyIsDiverse

I grew up being made fun of for my unique appearance. I am affected by ectodermal dysplasia, and as a result am uniquely beautiful. My Mom and Dad, who are awesome by the way, always taught me that people make fun when they don’t understand and that if you make them understand, they won’t make fun. shaq instagram screenshotNow is just one of those times when the opportunity presents to educate someone about ectodermal dysplasia and to reinforce the truth that beauty is, in fact, diverse.

Jahmel Binion is Michigan man, also affected by ectodermal dysplasia. Jahmel, too, has been teased all of his life because of his unique appearance. Jahmel recently posted a selfie on Instagram, and soon found himself as the brunt of the joke again. Only this time, it was by none other than Shaquille O’Neal, who posted a split photo of himself next to Jahmel, making fun of Jahmel’s appearance. The photo has been removed from Shaq’s account. Trey Burke and Wacha Flocka Flame are said to have joined in the teasing.

Rather than hang his head in shame, though, Jahmel was inspired to create a “Hug Don’t Judge” campaign against bullying!

I have to applaud Jahmel for keeping his response positive. It takes strength of character to do that. I bet he has awesome parents, too. 😉

I wanted to share with you the interview Jahmel had with Fox news, so you can see him yourself.

Fox 2 News Headlines

The National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasia has extended an open invitation to Mr. Shaquille O’Neal to attend the annual family conference in Columbus, Ohio, so that he can learn about ectodermal dysplasia and meet the people it affects. I hope you’ll lend your support and share the invitation via your social media channels.

I would be remiss not to share a video that the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasia put together that tells more of our collective story.

Please know that my aim in sharing this is not to shame Mr. O’Neal, though his actions were unkind in the very least. Instead, it is my hope– and the hope of the community of men, women, and children that are affected by ectodermal dysplasia, that Mr. O’Neal will learn from his actions and join our efforts to fight cyber bullying. After all, beauty is diverse.

Will you help us spread the message by sharing this post or by tweeting this message “@Shaq Beauty is diverse. Let us show you. #HugDontJudge #NFED @nfed_org


NFED #HugDontJudge


Posts may contain affiliate links. See Disclosure. All Opinions are My Own
Posts May Contain Affiliate Links. See Disclosure. All opinions my own.

The Truth is Black and White

While browsing the internet, I came across an article on that shows a picture of the Russian Socialite, Dasha Zhukova, sitting atop a chair that is composed of a  leather seat attached to a statue of a near-naked black woman.  Clad only in very short hot pants and tall leather boots, the woman is depicted in a contorted pose and the leather seat rests upon her laurels.   The image of Zhukova was initially published in an article on  Buro 24/7 on 01/20/14, the day celebrated as Martin Luther King Day in the US.   To say that the public outcry was swift and heated would be putting it mildly.  Miroslava Duma, the fashion editor and owner of the site, quickly cropped said photo and issued an apology for the apparently unintentional act of racism.  Both Duma and Zhukova have issued public apologies, stating their abhorrence of racism.  While I know nothing of either woman, or their personal beliefs, I do know that the truth is black and white. “Artwork” that depicts the objectification, oppression, dehumanization, and/or humiliation of anyone is tasteless and deplorable.

The chair in the photo that sparked the outrage was created by Bjarne Melgaard, a New York based artist born in Norway.

the truth is black and white

The Chair by Bjarne Melgaard is meant to be reminiscent of the controversial Chair by Allen Jones, which was created in 1969 and later damaged with paint stripper by feminists in 1986.

Never mind the fact that one of my daughter’s is bi-racial, this “artwork” is offensive to me on so many levels.  As a Christian.  As a Woman.  As a Wife.  As a Mother.  <–Just to name a few.

What do you think?

Posts may contain affiliate links. See Disclosure. All Opinions are My Own