Kendry Turner, a final year student at Dyer County High School, Tennessee, received an in-school suspension this week after saying “bless you” to a fellow classmate who had sneezed.
Kendry reported that her teacher told her, “We're not going to have godly speaking in her class and that's when I said we have a constitutional right.”
The teen was removed from the classroom and made to meet with school officials, who agreed with her teacher that she should be suspended.
While church-state separation in the United States does prohibit prayers in schools, this clearly does not apply to this case.
The phrase is one of several that have been banned in Kendry’s classroom, including “Stupid," "dumb," "boring," "stuff," "I don't know," "hang out," and "my bad."
Kendry’s parents met with school officials who said that the teen had been punished for saying “bless you” loudly in a distracting way, and for arguing with her teacher about it.
Some of the girl’s classmates have shown support for her by wearing handmade t-shirts with Bless You across the front.