A teacher is penalizing students who say “Bless you” after someone sneezes and the school district is now determining whether saying “Bless you” is a classroom disruption.
Teacher Steve Cuckovich docked his students’ scores after they said “bless you” in the middle of class. He says talking of any kind is disruptive and takes time away from class.
Cuckovich teaches health at William C. Wood High School in Vacaville.
“The blessing doesn’t make any sense anymore,” Cuckovich told the Fox affiliate in Sacramento. “When you sneezed in the old days, they thought you were dispelling evil spirits out of your body. So they were saying, ‘God bless you,’ for getting rid of evil spirits. But today, what you’re doing doesn’t really make any sense.”
I’m sure this has nothing to do with the teacher not wanting to hear anything religious in a public school. Reportedly, the teacher is taking 25 points off test grades for saying “bless you.”
The district weighed in yesterday saying that the “students were sneezing in dramatic fashion with the intent of disrupting class.” So it seems to me that this teacher has very little control of his classroom. But the school district rather than dumping this imbecile is reviewing the use of “bless you” by students. The district said:
“It was brought to the District’s attention a few days ago that students were disciplined for being disruptive in class. The teacher believed that students were dramatically sneezing and responding in repetitive fashion “Bless You”. One of the concerns is the social convention of saying “Gesundheit”, “God Bless You”, or “Bless You” after someone sneezes. Of question is whether a series of these repeated remarks by several students constitutes freedom of speech or a classroom disruption and merits student discipline. Vacaville Unified’s Administration is continuing its investigation of this reported classroom disruption. We are reviewing the impact of this disruption and the student grading policy. Certainly a blessing by one individual to another after a sneeze is a welcomed acknowledgement of a social norm. Hopefully it is not abused as a disruption of classroom instructional activities.”
What could be happening here is that the kids know this guy hates to hear about God so they pretend to sneeze and say “God bless you” or just “bless you.” I don’t know but it sounds like the kind of thing I would’ve done as a stupid kid.
But it’s clear that this teacher has completely lost control of his students and what’s the possible solution? No more “God bless you.” Consider this reason # 374,598 to not send your children to public school.