OK, I’m a Christian and a big admirer of Tim Tebow and when I saw this headline I jumped to the conclusion that this is another example of our educational system’s institutional animosity towards our Judeo/Christian heritage. After all, Bill Ayers and his ilk are behind most of the curriculum used in our schools for decades now.
After reading the article it’s plain that this is not a case of religious persecution. Look at the headline and what it leaves out, i.e., ‘in hallways between classes’.
This is simply a case of horseplay in the hallways in which the school administrators would be negligent if they didn’t curtail these kinds of activities.
Some students may have been sincerely wanting to display their faith by imitating Tebow’s kneeling but in the hallways between classes is not the time and place because others, no doubt, joined in just as teenagers are apt to do for horseplay or mockery.
By Christopher Hunt
Special to ESPNNewYork.com
That's what one Long Island administration said Wednesday when it suspended a group of high school athletes for replicating Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow's popular pose in the hallway at school.
Jordan Fulcoly, Wayne Drexel and brothers Tyler and Connor Carroll of Riverhead High School were all handed a one-day suspension Wednesday, after three days of taking a knee with their foreheads resting on their fists, the same way Tebow does in the end zone and on the sidelines. The news was first reported by Yahoo! Prep Rally earlier Thursday.
Riverhead superintendent Nancy Carney said that two of the students' suspensions were later rescinded, citing that administrators found that those students were not given the same warnings that the other two were.
Tebow has made headlines for the move, a display of his devotion to his Christian faith. The students were not suspended for bringing religion into the school, but instead for clogging the hallway.
Carney said that she supported the administration's efforts to maintain a safe environment and was surprised that the incident has received this much attention. Since the news broke, Carney said she has been receiving hate mail from people charging that the suspension is due to religious prejudice.
"It's very unsettling," she told ESPNNewYork.com on Thursday. "It's a shame that people out there are so ready to judge when they weren't there to see what happened."
Reports said that the students had been Tebowing all week, starting Monday. It was meant to be a joke, only paying homage to one of pro football's newest stars. But other students started joining in and administrators claimed it had become a disturbance. District officials reportedly told the students that the celebration was making it unsafe for students walking the hall in between classes.
The incident saw about 40 students engaging in the popular Tebowing. Only the four students, all athletes, were suspended. Caroll told Prep Rally that the administration told them "that our Tebowing was blocking the halls and could potentially cause a riot, because they were growing in number and if the wrong kid gets pushed a brawl could ensue."
Carney said students have three minutes to reach their next class.
"It's just high school kids being kids and administrators doing what they do on a daily basis -- keeping kids safe," Carney said, "and with today's world and cell phones and people taking pictures and video, it can be taken out of context."
Tyler and Connor Carroll are on the football team along with Drexel.
Christopher Hunt is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.