Saying “God bless you” when a classmate sneezed got an unnamed student a reduced grade at William C. Wood High School in Vacaville, Calif. this week.
Blessing sneezers is particularly annoying to heatlth teacher Steve Cuckovich, who told KTXL News in Sacramento that blessing someone is out of date in a modern classroom.
“The blessing really doesn’t make sense anymore,” Cuckovich told the TV news crew. “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 really doesn’t make sense.”
Irked students and parents of Woods High students disagree with the school’s health teacher — and the principal says that he has spoken to Cuckovich, reports Christian News, particularly after the instructor took it upon himself to lower a student’s grade 25 points for offering the blessing in Cuckovich’s class.
“I think that’s ridiculous,” said parent Alan Johnson. “First, the Pledge of Allegiance. Now, preventing a kid from saying ‘bless you?’”
The Post noted that the Vacaville controversy is just another example of what many perceive as growing anti-Christian, anti-religion bigotry in the state’s public schools.
This month, a 3-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco sided with school officials in Poway, Calif. who ordered high school math teacher Brad Johnson to remove banners he has displayed in his classroom for 25 years, which proclaim “In God We Trust,” “God Bless America,” and “God Shed His Grace On Thee.”
In March, a 16-year-old high school student in El Cajon, Calif. sued the local school district after being suspended two days for bringing his Bible to school and sharing his faith with classmates.
Wood High Principal Cliff McGraw told the TV station that Cuckovich went overboard in his punishment.
“He realizes he there’s better ways to do that,” McGraw said. “We don’t condone that kind of punishment.”
However, the health teacher has not been told he must allow students to ask God’s blessing on sneezes in his classroom.
He just will find a lesser way to punish those who defy his ban.