A Tennessee teen got into trouble at her school recently for saying "bless you" after her teacher sneezed. The phrase was on the list of things not to say according to 17-year-old Kendra Turner. Turner told The Tennessean, after she said "bless you," the teacher stood up and asked who had spoken.
"She asked why I said it, and I told her I was being courteous, and she asked me who told me that it was courtesy?" Turner said. "I told her my pastor and my parents taught me to say it." She was placed on in-school suspension.
The Tenneesean reported that Turner held a news conference at Dysersburg First Assembly of God Church to talk about the incident. "I want God to be able to be talked about in school," she said. "I want them to realize that God is in control and they're not." She also added that she didn't want the teacher to get into trouble.
Kendra Turner's suspension for living out her faith is a sign that we need to aggressively pray for our students. Millions of students are returning to school and my hope is that we don't see another Sandy Hook Elemenary shooting that killed 20 children or that my middle-school daughter would not be bullied. As we send our students back to school, here are some points that we can pray:
1) Pray for protection. Pray for safety for school staff, teachers and students. Pray that the campus would be one of the safest zones in your area. And pray for safety as they travel from home to school.
2) Pray for wisdom. I pray that God would give my children wisdom to understand their teachers and the material. I also pray for wisdom for the teachers and staff serving my children. And for wisdom for the counselors dealing with troubled kids.
3) Pray for provision. Do you remember those news stories about cafeteria workers dumping school lunches after discovering the student doesn't have enough money to pay in their account? Pray for provision for the schools to have everything they need to teach and feed their students. Kids going hungry because their parents didn't put money into their lunch account should not happend.
4) Pray for Christian students staff and teachers to be a good witness as they are salt and light to their school. Pray for boldness to proclaim the word of God and favor with the administration. Let's believe for a reversal of the trend of shutting out the word of God in the public school system.
5) Pray against fear. Pray that your student would have no fear of being bullied or fitting in. The pressure to fit in and be part of the popular group creates fear of showing their Christian faith. Pray for strength for your student to not compromise their faith.
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Leilani Haywood is the editor of Spirit Led Woman. She is an award-winning writer and frequent contributor to Charisma.