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Teacher punished students for saying ‘Bless You’ in class

September 30, 2011 |  8:27 am

A Vacaville high school teacher said he will come up with a different way to keep order in class after complaints that he was knocking 25 points off the grades of students saying "Bless you" after a sneeze.

The teacher, Steve Cuckovich, told FOX 40 Sacramento that the point deduction had nothing to do with religion.

"It's got to do with an interruption of class time," he said.

He said a student would sneeze, prompting several students to say "Bless You." The sneezer would then thank each of the students who said "Bless you."

Students declared Cuckovich's discipline "messed up."

And one parent, Alan Johnson, said, "I think that's ridiculous. First the Pledge of Allegiance, now preventing a kid from saying 'Bless you?'"

Cuckovich told the television station that saying "God bless you," doesn't make sense anymore. He said it was initially a way to dispel evil spirits out of the body.

Principal Cliff DeGraw said the teacher realizes that there is a better way to keep order in the class. "We don't condone that type of punishment," DeGraw said.

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-- Kimi Yoshino

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