Riverhead H.S. Student Connor Carroll Serves In-School Suspension For ‘Tebowing’

School District Explains Its Side, But Many Say Ban Was Over-Reaction

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — One of two brothers suspended for paying tribute to Denver Broncos Quarterback Tim Tebow served an in-school suspension Friday.

Mimicking kneeling down to pray — the trademark move has been dubbed “Tebowing” — is what got senior Connor Carroll and his twin brother, Tyler, in big trouble. Tebow is the fourth-quarter phenomenon who’s been wowing football fans all across the country with his talent.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall On The Story

But some of Tebow’s teen followers are crying foul after they were busted for paying tribute to their favorite player.

If you follow the National Football League, you’ve heard of him.

Tebow has quickly become the biggest story in pro sports. His outward devotion to his faith and his late-game heroics have earned him a massive following.

But fanaticism might have gone too far recently in Riverhead on Long Island. A YouTube video shows several students at Riverhead High School getting down on one knee in the middle of a hallway as a tribute to Tebow. For those who don’t know, that’s Tebow’s signature move after a positive play.

Mimicking kneeling down to pray — the trademark move has been dubbed “Tebowing” — is what got senior Connor Carroll and his twin brother, Tyler, in big trouble.

Connor Carroll spoke to CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez by phone on Thursday night and then both brothers and their parents spoke to CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan and WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall on  Friday.

“This all started on Monday. Me, my brother and a couple of our friends decided we would Tebow in the hallway to show respect to Tim Tebow. We did it the one period. The next day, Tuesday, more people … they saw us doing it again, so they started doing it on their own. And Wednesday even more people started doing it,” Connor said.

He said he and his brother and two other students were called to the principal’s office, where the brothers were suspended for one day. Connor Carroll claims the school never warned him to stop the tribute. He said he thinks the punishment is unfair.

“The point is we shouldn’t be suspended for this. It’s a harmless act, just supporting a good guy,” Carroll said.

About 40 students participated in the largest act of “Tebowing” on Wednesday, but the twins were the only two suspended. Nancy Carney, school district superintendent, said the tribute had nothing to do with religion, which has been an issue surrounding all the attention Tebow receives, but posed a safety hazard by blocking others from getting to class.

“Two students, who were spoken to previously, did not heed to the warning given by administrators, and they were disciplined accordingly,” Carney said in a statement.

“My son told me they were never warned ‘stop’ … the school is saying they did warn them,” Ken Carroll, the boys’ father, told WCBS 880’s Hall. “My sons do admire Tim Tebow, not only for his football play, but because of his great faith,” Carroll added.

“In the video it does show a little bit of blocking. We have four minutes in between periods. It lasted 30 seconds to a minute and all of us who took part in the action of Tebowing … we all got to class on time,” Tyler Carroll told McLogan.

Conor Carroll said he has no regrets.

“We’re all Tebow fans. We like what he brings to the table. He’s a natural born leader,” he said.

But as it turned out, for Carroll and his brother, following the leader was not a winning move.

“The school, everyone should be happy they are following a good role model, not someone who’s in the news for bad things,” mother Sherry Carroll told McLogan.

Tyler Carroll will serve his suspension on Monday. The other students were let go with a warning.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

  • Rodin

    Keep your faith out of my face.

  • Cassie

    I go to school with these students and they were not doinhg this out of respect or anything for tebow. They did this for attention and when they got in trouble they made up an excuse. These students are the type that act out constantly and just try to get attention from those who surrond them. They think they are cool when they are immature. This is honestly not newsworthy since they deserved what they got. They should have not blocked other kids in the hallway or have been obnoxious. They could have done this outside in the back of the school on their own time which is appropriate. Instead of defying the adults around them they should learn what respect really is and behave like the 18 year olds they are instead of like 4 year olds.

  • anne

    that’s because they think that they were praying,….if they were muslim….bowing to mecca….they would not say a word….they would change the rules for them….good for the boys…they did nothing wrong….

    • letsgetreal

      I don’t care if they are praying to God, Allah, Ram or Zeus , (although it is all delusional ) … but more importantly has no place in the middle of the school hallways.

    • Amtracmarine

      Say what you want about Muslims but they don’t turn their prayers into a YouTube video.

  • Amtracmarine

    To all the “Tools” that believe that these kids were legit……….Please. They did this 3 days in a row and were warned. If they were serious why not in the cafateria?? Why the in the hall, between classes with loads of kids standing there watching?? It was a FLASH MOB stunt,nothing more.

    • letsgetreal

      You right on the mark, the kids were clowning around just trying to create a spectacle …. how is blocking the hall in any way following a good example.

    • glen

      Amtracmarine – Got beat up much in high school? Sounds like it.

      • Amtracmarine

        That’s the best reply you could come up with glen??? You know,sometimes it’s better to remain silent and be thought of as a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

  • ros

    Those that can’t do- Teach.
    Those that cant Teach – become Principals

  • Sam M

    Everyone should have been given a warning.
    Now the principal needs one from the superintendent.

    • Cassie

      the twins were given a warning several weeks ago for blocking the hallway and then they did it once again so they got what they deserved

  • Henry

    The organizers of this stunt said they did this as a joke in the report. Not reverence or prayer, but maybe this is what some children are being taught as religion, making fun of another’s beliefs. And we blame the school admin?

  • les

    WOW! Students were suspended for imitating perhaps one of the only professional athletes who promotes family values, prayer and helping others. An athlete who for many years travelled to impoverished countries to build homes and schools for the less privileged. An athlete who promotes responsibility and is drug free. A pro athlete who condones abstinence over promiscuity. A player in the NFL who has never been in jail or on probation. Kudos to the students!!
    The principal should be making them students of the month –not suspending them.

    • Amtracmarine

      They weren’t serious,they were goofing. That’s why they put it on YouTube..

  • Bob

    I think the school officials are ridiculous. They are kids doing something that hurts no one! Give them some space to express themselves; ask the board members at Columbine which they would have preferred, Students dropping to one knee or what they ahd to experience?
    Don’t sweat the little things in life; there are plenty of big things to worry about. Shame on those short sighted school officials.

  • letsgetreal

    Absolutely should have been suspended, they are just being disruptive and creating an inconvenience for rational thinking students… there is no point to it , but to get attention.

  • Sharon

    They really should have done this tribute to Tebow on the football field not in hallway.

  • Jeri

    Our Nation and news have admonished children to follow good examples for years. Now, here’s Tim Tebow, a devout christain and respectful yet great role model. If he cursed, drank and lied constantly he would be call a all around American boy, What’s wrong with us? America as a whole needs to follow his example and return to GOD as our fore fathers did. Then, there were no guns in schools, no family suicide murders or disrespectful young people. We allowed a woman and her son remove prayer from school, and look our nation! We have sex on tv at prime time and children dressing like hookers and calling it fashion. God Bless Tim Tebow, I would encourage everyone of my family members, young and old to follow his lead. Maybe if we do, America will return to its greatness

  • Lenore

    There are so many people who are suffering , people who have died and/or lost family members. You are all getting carried away; get a grip. We are Americans! Why are our rights being tramped on? If you don’t want to salute our flag, don’t, if you don’t want to share in our prayers, don’t but for God’s sake, stop already! Most of us believe in an Almighty no matter what religion; some don’t but don’t stump on those who want to be grateful and believe in someone who they would like to follow. Isn’t it better than them doing drugs, drinking, stealing, shooting classmates? just like the boy in NC who got suspended for telling his friend that his teacher was cute. You are hurting the natural development of our children by supressing them into robots.

  • Lisa

    Will they suspend students who hold hands and block other students from walking around them or how about the ones who run down the hall or walk too slowly? Seems like they just want to suspend the Christian ones. HMMMMM!!

  • John

    Should have been suspended. If students were injured, the parents would be the first to complain about unsafe conditions. We followed rules in school and our parents would not even think of questioning the decision that a school made. Students today need to follow rules as well.

  • Robert

    school administrators=Little people with little minds with too much power

  • Mr mister

    There is no god only tebow

  • ted

    If they were bowing to Mecca – nobody would have the balls to bitch.

  • pugphan

    God bless im!

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