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…
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…
The school did issue a statement to the State Gazette, which you can read here: http://www.stategazette.com/story/2110930.html
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.