Posted at 12:35 PM ET, 09/30/2011

California teacher docks points for saying ‘Bless you’ in class

When one California teacher’s students tell each other “Bless you,” he tells them to cut it out.

Health teacher Steve Cuckovich said he finds the sneeze-related courtesy disruptive to his class, ABC30 in Fresno reports. The reason is not religious in nature, according to the educator.

“When you sneezed in the old days, they thought you were dispelling evil spirits out of your body,” Cuckovich said. “So they were saying, ‘God bless you’ for getting rid of evil spirits. But today, I said what you’re doing doesn’t really make any sense anymore.”

One student was docked 25 points for saying it.

Naturally, parents complained that their children’s First Amendment rights were being compromised. Cuckovich dropped the point policy but plans to find other ways to put a stop to the practice.

Superintendent John Niederkorn clarified Cuckovich’s concerns, saying in a statement, “The teacher believed that students were dramatically sneezing and responding in repetitive fashion, ‘Bless you.’”

“Certainly a blessing by one individual to another after a sneeze is a welcomed acknowledgment of a social norm. Hopefully it is not abused as a disruption of classroom instructional activities,” the statement said.

Watch a report from FOX40 News below.

By  |  12:35 PM ET, 09/30/2011

Tags:  National

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