A word to the wise: When paying tribute to an NFL quarterback’s famous pose in school, make sure you aren’t creating a fire hazard in the process.
Four student-athletes at Riverhead (N.Y.) High School earned one-day suspensions last week for repeatedly “Tebowing” (named after Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow) in the middle of their school’s hallway, Yahoo!'s Prep Rally blog reported.
Two of the suspensions were later revoked, after administrators realized that those students were not given the same warnings as the others, ESPNNewYork.com reported.
Tebowing, the latest Internet sensation, basically constitutes getting down on one knee, resting your forehead on your fist, and praying (or pretending to pray, in the imitators’ case). Tebow, who’s devoutly Christian, often strikes the pose after scoring touchdowns or in high-pressure situations late in games. (He’s also defied all odds by compiling a 7-2 record as a starter this year, gaining national notoriety in the process.)
The student-athletes weren’t suspended for bringing religion into school, Riverhead Superintendent Nancy Carney told ESPN. Instead, they were suspended for organizing roughly 40 students in their Tebowing, which allegedly created a fire hazard in the hallway.
“The administration told us 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,” Connor Carroll, a senior at Riverhead, told Yahoo!'s Prep Rally. “We had no idea that we could get suspended for such a thing. It was a joke between a group of friends that took a life of its own. We figured at the most we would just be told to stop.”
Connor and his twin brother, Tyler, were the two students whose suspensions were upheld, according to Newsday. They had reportedly organized the spontaneous Tebowing multiple days last week.
“It’s just high school kids being kids and administrators doing what they do on a daily basis—keeping kids safe,” Carney said to ESPN, “and with today’s world and cellphones and people taking pictures and video, it can be taken out of context.”
Carney said that since the incident gained national attention, she’s been receiving hate mail accusing the school of making its decision based on religion.
If only the Broncos had beaten the New England Patriots on Sunday ... the whole country might be on Tebowing watch then.
Photo: Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow prays in the end zone before the start of the Dec. 11 game against the Chicago Bears in Denver. (Julie Jacobson/AP)
A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.