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Teacher punishes student for responding “God bless you” to a friend’s sneeze

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is particularly annoying to heatlth teacher Steve Cuckovich, who told KTXL News in Sacramento that blessing someone is out of date in a modern classroom.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.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment StudentOfDemocracy

    I’d keep saying ‘God bless you’ because it sounds like Cuckovich is the evil spirit the class needs to be rid of.

  • Jason

    This is so absurd, if anyone needs to be punished it is this teacher. I am a proponent of the separation of church and state, but this is disgusting.

    I also do not think that kid should have been suspended for sharing his faith. The school should not provide funding and cannot compel anyone to participate, but if a student wants to share his faith with like minded people without harassing or intimidating other students then he should be allowed to do so.

  • http://blessyou BEVERLY BYERS

    I do not agree with the teacher in the punishment phase of the student. I think that if muslim or athiest or any other religion is allowed in the school or any other sysyems in our Nations there is something seriously wrong with our country. The Conservatives and Christians are going to have to take a stand on the moral and Constitutional standards in our Nation.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Lisa

    A student saying “God bless you” to another student when they sneezed is Constitutionally protected speech under both the free speech clause and the free expression clause, so don’t blame the ACLU for this teacher’s actions. This teacher has an agenda and it doesn’t belong in a public school.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Composer

    First off, you have the story skewed, as usual. This teacher ‘punished’ the student because the blessing caused a class DISRUPTION. The teacher stated “this has nothing to do with God.” You people need to get out of your one-sided boxes and start looking at other views in life. Don’t just read your Christian publications; there are other, more truthful newspapers out there. Oh, and please remember this before you cast your vote for some pontificating candidate: the separation of Church and State is exclusive and GUARANTEED for each and every American. Religion should NOT be in the public schools. IF you want religion then send your charges to a private brainwashing institution.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Andrea

    For one thing every time you sneeze you heart stops. So bless you, that your still alive and with us. And it not like the teen jump up in song and dance, just said “Bless you”, just like “Hello” and “Thank You” something we all grew up saying.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Shana

    I believe we cannot take this right away from students. The teacher quoted old fashion belief behind the phrase? Where does that stand in this? Our schools football players are asked by coaches if they wish to pray before game and given a moment. Not all have to and all do pray. I believe too many rights are being taken away from our students and us as well. If a student wishes to pray for a safe game…who are we to take that away from him.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Alan Smithee

    I bet this “teacher” is a Richard Dawkins fan. Now, I am a rabid athiest. I even agree with Nietzsche’s condemnation of christianity at the end of the Anti-christ, but I also recognizze where I live and who my neighbors are. This guy is a fool, he makes athiests look bad.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Allan

    If one kid said “God bless you.” that would be different. But if ten or fifteen say it, that can totally disrupt the class, and, as a former teacher, I suspect that it would be meant to.

    What if someone sneezes in church? Should everyone in the congregation individually say “Bless you.” Of course not. And it should be the same way in a classroom.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Larry G

    I think Cuckovich is aptly named. Just like John Crapper who invented the toilet bowl. (I prefer to use his first name, of course)

  • Pbebs

    Some people are going to hell in a handbasket and want to take the country and its schools along with them.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Coach

    What’s happened to our first amendment right to freedom of speech? If we are still a democracy, why is the minority of non-believers dictating over the majority of God loving people?

    It seems to me the devil is truly busy these days and he’s attacking our youth!

    So sad. I’ll pray for those who need it most.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment BARBARA

    Where’s that teacher at? Kick him out of school or punish him not the kid. I wonder if all are treated this way because they say “God Bless you”? Is that worth anybody’s time? How silly! I will pray and let God handle this stupid action on the teachers part and see what He will do with the situation. Like a song says, “Leave the kids alone”

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Norrell

    I think teacher Cuckovich took too seriously a time-honoured cliché sneezers are usually greeted with.

    What makes me really think and wonder in sheer amazement is the Californian school-boy suspended for bringing his Bible and sharing his faith.The secular principle of separation between Church and State is fine; suspending a teen “guilty” of sharing his faith and values is pointless, unfair and shows a lamentable ignorance of history and one homeland’s roots: the Pilgrim Fathers came to America because they were being persecuted for their religious persuasion.
    Is America overlooking her past?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jean Loftus

    I suggest this teacher have 25% of his salary deducted. His way of thinking is absolutely stupid and uncalled for, and he is obviously anti religion.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Adriane

    I feel that is so wrong to be punished because of your faith and love for God. He is the on that created us all and for those unbelievers you will pray to god that you did have faith when the time comes on your death bed and on judgement day! YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW!! BE VERY CAREFUL YOU BEEN WARNED

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Patricia Cannon

    Talk about freedom of speech. Well here goes. Mr. Your Name says it all. This is the United States of America. If this really bothered you so much that you down graded a student for saying it, maybe you should return to wherever your family came from. God Bless You has been around for a lot longer than you have. I am so tired of all the dictatorship with regards to religion and discipline. Go home Sir if you are offended by what the student said or maybe you should change careers.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Leslie P. Robinson

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I MEAN, REALLY, ARE YOU KIDDDDDDINNNNNNNNG ME? A PERSON CANNOT TELL ANOTHER ONE “BLESS YOU,” IN SCHOOL? First of all the phrase is God Bless You, and from this story, the child left off God, which is usually done because we understand that God is the one blessing you. However, since God’s name is no longer allowed in some public schools, the student probably thought by just saying “Bless You,” he was still being considerate and/or polite to the person that sneezed. When I was in the 8th grade, many years ago, I had a science teacher tell our class that the reason people say God Bless You when someone sneezes is because sneezing takes so much out of you your heart actually stops for a matter of seconds and that God has blessed you by allowing your heart to continue to beat and not stopping for long enough to cause any real damage. Now that might not be exactly how he said it, but it makes more sense than the story/excuse that teacher used for punishing that student. The point is, no matter what the reason for saying God Bless You or just Bless you, what is wrong with it? If it is an ancient belief so what, if that student or any other wants to continue to say/use it, so be it. My goodness, you’ve taken the right for our children to use the word God in the pledge of allegience, and now this! Those of us that believe in God have just as much right as those that don’t so, why are our lawmakers passing laws that take away rights from believers to pass rights for those that don’t believe? If my child wants to say God in school and yours doesn’t, it is easier for you child to just ignore that verse than for mine to forsake his God and not be able to say his name!! Did we not fight for religous rights from the British? Have I been out of school for so long I have forgotten or have the story all twisted? I know I my recall is a bit confused sometimes, but I know there was a fight/war somewhere when this country was first trying to declare it’s freedom that had to do with religious rights. Yet we keep gradually losing that battle again. Think about all that is going on in the world today, the earthquakes in places that would normally not have them, the sunamies and typhoons, the tornadoes hitting areas 20 and 30 at a time, mudslides, awful fires, we are condemning ourselves to hell because we have lost our belief in who is really in charge and the devil is taking over and sitting back and laughing at us all! He is winning this war and we are letting him everytime someone does something like this teacher did!!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Barb

    How many points are deducted for the use of a word of profanity? Blessings can only glorify God and create better relationships. Classes that are “disrupted” with blessings teach more important lessons than any other lesson could provide. Note to any teacher or person who may forget: this life is not all about YOU… it is all about God, all about Jesus… it is all about greater concepts than any individual… Wake up world! … Let’s listen to Godly Blessings, Godly words and actions. I cannot think of anything that is more important than honoring God’s strength and power and HIS control!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Pixie

    Ok, let me get this straight: We have drug-addicted gang-bangers stabbing and shooting their fellow classmates but I guess that pales in comparison to a polite “God bless you” from a fellow student? What oh what is the world coming to? I guess excessive politeness needs to be stamped out!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Monk21

    Simple minds do simple things. God Bless that teacher! He is still learning.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Karen

    This is so funny….when I was in (public) high school a student sneezed and when people in the class responded with “bless you” our history teacher commented that it was strange that not one person included “God” in the blessing — that has stuck with me for 30 years — I now always say God bless you….

    I guess this goes to show the change in teacher morality in 30 years. One reminded us of God’s blessing; one defies God’s blessing.

    As for the person above who said it is equally disrespectful to say God bless you when someone sneezes in church — I disagree — you don’t have to yell the blessing just a quick “God bless you” gets the point across.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Janell

    I personally think the teacher should be punished for acting like a fool…God bless you when someone sneezes has been around since my childhood and I am 60 yrs. old. I was always raised to believe your heart stops beating in that split second…..thus…God bless you..I personally am TIRED of people acting like people with christian values have no rights,or aperson not being able to use the word GOD without being punished.This is todally unexceptable. I believe the teacher owes this chid an appology. Thats my story and I am sticking to it.God bless us all.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Tom Berryman

    Interesting, but you didn’t give us all the information. A number of students were faking sneezing just to get that one student to respond. As a Christian and a college instructor. I sympathize with the teacher as that would disrupt a classroom.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Aaron Wikkerink

    congress shall pass NO LAWS respecting the establishment of a religion nor restricting the FREE WORSHIP THEREOF. every time someone stops another person from praising GOD in the way they choose to praise GOD, they are RESTRICTING THE FREE WORSHIP THEREOF and they need to be brought into court about it.sue the teacher and the school board for RESTRICTING THE FREE WORSHIP THEREOF and maybe something will get done.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Poetee

    Just dot take his class, parents should band together and home school. Too much anti Christian wrong- right in world

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment fellowhealthteacher

    It is not about the “Bless you” it is about the disruption! 1 kid sneezes and then the entire class says bless you and then the “sneezer” individually thanks each person. That is not only a waste of time but a huge disruption to the class. It is about the immaturity of the students. Not everything has to be a big debate… about blaming the kids for once instead of the teachers.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Crystal

    Seems to me that if some of these other kids were sneezing to get a response from this child of Christian Faith than they should be held accountable for being disruptive in class!
    Is this a form of harrasment of a child because of his beliefs.
    Were are are morals?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Beverly

    Times have changed ,we had a Bible class in school at our public school in the early 70’s …it’s polite to bless someone when they sneeze…. Get real… No wonder there is soooo much negative crap going on in public schools today …I am glad I am as old as I am ,I don’t want to see the direction our country is going ….we saw the best of America growing up being born in the 50’s

  • http://None Patsy Davis

    This teach is DISGUSTING and should be fired for punishing a student who said, “God Bless You” when he sneezed! The teacher is definitely not a Christian. He HAD NO RIGHT TO DISCIPLINE THE STUDENT JUST BECAUSE THE STUDENT SAID, “GOD BLESS YOU” WHEN HE SNEEZED!!! That is disgusting! What is this Nation coming to!?!?!?!?!?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Ashley

    I have a niece that goes to the school…there a several doing it incessively to disrupt the class and get a laugh. This has been blown up into a religous issue when the issue was really managing childrens disruptive behavior…not an occasional God Bless you.

    Our teachers have a hard enough job as it is. Instead of persecutng the teacher, maybe managing this with CHristian love would set a higher example for not only the teacher but the school and community.

    I am a devote Christian…and my niece is a Christian who has him as a teacher…

  • http://StandupforChristians Linda

    It angers me that this teacher would think to punish the student for saying “God Bless you”. Christians need to band together and put a stop to teachers like this. I hope the student will continue to say “God Bless You” and not let this teacher intimidate him.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment margaret wood


  • Rob Kerby, Senior Editor

    But we have the teacher on video talking about how blessing somebody is antiquated and pointless. It would appear he had an agenda — and kids being kids learned how to push his particular button, his annoyance that people think God will bless a sneezer.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Rosemary Swartzell

    No one will ever tell me what I can say to someone else (God bless you, or whatever) or what I can wear that may show my faith. That is my freedom and I won’t allow it to be taken away. Remember where we are. Fairness and freedom or dictators?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment kathielee

    Come on…asking God’s blessing on another human being is considered “out of date”? Whatever happened to the concept of “live and let live”? And was there some kind of handout from this teacher on the first day of school indicating that there would be punishment for mentioning God in any way in his classroom?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment lisa

    I think it is really sad and ridiculous that people in this country will do or say anything to denounce our precious Lord and Savior. As a healthcare worker, most people that I have discussed the topic of sneezing with agree that the blessing is for the momentary stoppage of the heart during the sneeze. This is more than enough of a reason for a blessing. Anyway, we should be sharing blessings daily and not just when a sneeze occurs. May God bless you all!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment John Morris

    I think it’s ridiculous what this teacher did in response to the student saying “God bless you” to another student sneezing. This type of behavior on the part of the teacher is just further evidence in the “last days”, as the Bible tells us.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jonathan N Gardiner

    The Devil really is trying hard to take over the world by discouraging the youths from God and using his name,by persecuting them.Regardless of these attack and persecutions we need to remind them that God is calling them to do his work.

    I write unto you,little children,because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.
    I write unto you,fathers,because ye have known him that is from the beginning.I write unto you,young men,because ye have overcome the wicked one.I write unto you,little children,because ye have known the Father.

    I have written unto you,fathers,because ye have known him that is from the beginning.I have written unto you,young men,because ye are strong,and the word of God abideth in you,and ye have overcome the wicked one.(1 John.2:12-14).KJV.

    It’s sadden to see the nation America is coming too!

    May the God they Despise so-much with hold not his grace and mercy from them.

    And may we all turn from our unrighteousness and wickedness and return to our God the Father of Jesus Christ and the creator of heaven and earth.

    God Blessed us all!!!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Milford Woodard

    Student do get carried away with the God Bless You’s and then it’s the thank you’s. Two is ok but five plus is too much, now it’s a problem.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Milford Woodard

    I think the teacher was upset with the over use of God Bless You than GOD BLESS YOU. How many times God Bless You were expressed?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Dianne Onstott

    This teacher is ovbiously out of touch with reality. These kids are hight schoolers and are not going to be his robots! They have their own minds and after all, did someone prove that this dimented teacher is the end all know all? He has no business teaching children if he can’t be flexible. The student did not hurt anyone, did not disrespect anyone and certainly did not cause an uproar. The teacher did that by making a mountain out of a mohill!! I really don’t care how pointless or foolish he thinks the custom is, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Maybe his pay should be cut a hundred dollars a week for being stupid. He has not right to lower a grade because he is a cranky old man, the grade should be based on ability not circumstances.
    Kids need to be taught not condemned. If the students were disrupting the class then the punishment should have been detention not a lower grade. Make the punishment fit the crime.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Rachel

    There was no reason to take away points. The teacher should have used that to teach a history lesson. By telling him the history that phrase. No need to get ignorant!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jimbo

    While everybody talks about separation of church and state it is becoming obvious that (with the help of the ACLU) a state religion if being created, and it is called Atheism. Even though the vast majority of American’s believe in a supreme being nobody is allowed to say so because the state religion is atheism which does not allow such a belief to be shown or expressed in public.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Sherry

    I think the IDIOT so called teacher should be punished!! He’s the kind of IDIOT who want’s to keep GOD out of school’s and keep gun’s in… such small demonic mind’s!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Timby

    It’s said in the bible that in the end times there would be a falling away and there would be an increase in non believers. So take a good look. There is a war on Christians and their beliefs. Some countries are imprisoning and killing Christians preachers. The fullness of time is upon us.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment mary freeman

    He’s right about the superstitious blessing of someone who sneezes. but he has no right to lower the students grade, or to make that student’s life miserable. He has explained the superstitious meaning behind blessing someone who sneezes, so at that point he needs to just let it go and grade the student or students what they really deserve.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jregan

    How ignorant and superstitious of that teacher. People are supposed to be able to believe what they want and to express free speech. I believe in God and don’t understand why people are so against God. They must be afraid of something.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Frank

    To Mr. Steve Cuckovich of William C. Wood High School in Vacaville, Ca. You will be off limits here in Fairfield cause your are being bless now with your own evil spirit.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Tamma

    This is really a shame!What is this world coming to.I’m sorry but nobody is going to tell me I can’t say God Bless You!We will be in Court all year if necessary?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Durand Williams

    We’re definitetly living in the last days,just as the Bible said.It’s also terrible how this country of ours is turning it’s back on God,and we are truely loosing some major points with Him by doing that.Besides,I agree with Tamma,I WILL NOT STOP saying,God Bless You,either.What needs to be done is that we as Americans need to be mailed a copy of the”Constitution of Independence”because not only are we loosing to having good credit with God,but also as a nation with rights.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Annie

    We probably do not know the entire “situation”. If someone is disrupting the class by saying “God Bless You” I can understand. But in normal circumstances saying “God Bless You” is my personal right and a kind gesture to someone who sneezes. It must be very very hard, especially in California to be a teacher as you have to watch every little thing you say and do. God Bless them.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment grace

    Grace Teniente Wyman

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment MARGARET


  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment peter – uk

    well the teacher is a f##king moron, it has nothing to do with evil spirits – d##k – it was the done thing when someone had bubonic plague… evil spirits

    american moron???

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Diana

    This is B.S. This is America. We all have the right to free speech but lately it doesn’t appear to apply to anyone who has religion in their hearts. I am a born & raised Catholic and proud of it. My daughter attends Catholic school. If someone else doesn’t agree with what I have to say about religion, (including…God Bless You), then that’s their right, but it’s also MY right to say it. Lately, all the groups that usually cry discrimination are being joined by religious groups. I personally don’t care what anyone else believes, even atheists have the right to their beliefs, (or lack there of). Why don’t all you dumb asses pay more attention to what all the juvenile delinquents are doing and leave the school attending kids with manners alone. That teacher can’t tell his students what not to say unless it’s threatening or obsene. He should be made an example of and publicly humiliated as he did to that high schooler. GOD BLESS YOU EVERYONE !! :)

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Allan

    With my main-line Protestant background, I was never taught to say “God bless you,” nor have I ever used it. I think these people who are criticising this teacher should remember that not all people have the same practices that they do. Also, they should have the experience of trying to teach a class of teen-agers who will do anything to disrupt a class.

    Actually, my mother used to say “Gesundheit,” or “Gesundheit verbesser’ dein’ Krankheit,” (May health cure your sickness) when we coughed or sneezed. I really prefer this honest wish for a return to health to “God bless you.”

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment lewis

    One day he’ll need a blessing. Maybe someone will be there for him maybe not. What a jerk

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Ifeoma

    Allan, you are comfortable with your mother’s wishes but condemn someone else’s. What if that was also the teaching from their mother?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jeanne Danner

    This is so ridiculous. Whatever happened to freedom of speech and religion. If we as the faithful want to bless someone when they sneeze, we should be able to do it. I’m so concerned at what’s happening in this country, partiularly in our schools.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Leslie Atwood

    I feel this teacher is crazy. You should be able to say God Bless You. That may have been the nicest thing someone may have said to that student that day. He doesn’t know what kind of impact that may have had on the student that someone was kind to him/her. That teacher should be glad that the student wasn’t cussing at the other student. I hope God will bless him.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Genny Richardson

    It appeears as though the ememy is attacking
    Christains more than ever,We read the word of
    God as part of our devotional worship raliase
    these things will happen,We thank God our Father in the Name of 0ur Lord Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit for all those who are taking a stance, in this direction, and not just dismissing the friary trials that are presenting themselves on this planet
    earth at present.Yours is the Kingdom, the power, and the Glory 0h Lord, preserve your people from the evil forces that are overshadowing our World In Jesus Name we pray Amen.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Joseph Montgomery

    Folks the only one that actually got it right was Aaron, he correctly quoted the Bill Of Righjts when he said “CONGRESS shall make no law………” Federal Courts have expanded that to mean any form or religion anywhere in the public domain is verboten. That actually isn’t the case. It say s what it means. Under our Constitution we are free to worship as we please without governemntal interference. Its the Radical left and the atheists who want to eradicate all reference of GOD from public life. Itsd time for the silent majority to say ENOUGH! and do what needs to be done to ensure our freedoms enshrined in our Constitution. And yes I’m a Teacher a HISTORY TEACHER!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment closinyou

    This is beyond absurd!

    This NON-teacher needs to be fired! To give a lower grade for a common phrase said in respect simply because it has the word “God” in it, is simple bigotry from ignorance!

    This teacher has made it clear that her goal is not to teach, inspire or motivate. Her goal is to see God removed in schools and apparently in FREE SPEECH! HER ACTIONS HAVE DONE MORE HARM THAN GOOD. CLEARLY, THIS TEACHER LACKS MATURITY AS WELL AS PROPER DISCRETION AND SELF CONTROL!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Genetta Brookins

    America really needs to pray, when they prayer out of schools look at all the killings that has happen. We better get a grip before things get worser in our schol system. Its so rough can not even keep school teachers anymore because crime is so bad.

  • http://waitaminhere dee

    first off most of us were raised to say “bless you”, or “God bless you”, when someone sneezes but you all missed the most important thing in this. This teacher docked her grade which she earned for saying this. That is the most insane thing ive heard yet. But hes damn lucky hes not one of my childrens teachers or was one. Because i would drag his rude ignorant butt before the school board, etc… The grade was earned based on her work not what came out of her mouth. how ignorant.

  • Jay Miller

    Teachers like this should be fired.

  • http://Teacherisincorrect Maggie

    The teacher is incorrect. The belief was when you sneezed, your soul flew out and there was a second of time it was exposed to evil spirits. By saying “God bless you,” you were saving the sneezer’s soul until it jumped back in the body. If he wants to be a jerk, he should at least have the facts straight.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment don

    First of all this country is suppose to be freedom of speech. the teacher was wrong in what he did. no matter what you believe in your religion, it all comes down to one thing, theres only one god, and its the same god. it doesnt matter what religion you are, it comes down to you should be able to speak what you think and believe. this country as far as i’m concerned, is going down big time. it sucks. you can’t say or do anything anymore without someone judging you.

  • http://theyshouldleaveitalone. kristyanne

    They are so rude god is in everything around us in someone whats to share that with someone else should not be punishment for it. The people are doing the puinisment are rude.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment teresa

    This is so not related to religion. The kids are making it a disruption. The way they are behaving is like 1st graders. If one person or even the teacher said god bless you or bless you that would e fine. What happens is that 30 kids feel the need to say it and not in unison. The teacher could be in the middle of a key point and now they have to wait for 30 people to speak. I have to tell you that is not going to go over well in a work setting. This teachers is just trying to teach the kids good manners. The kids playing the religion card is ridiculous. I would bet they don’t even attend and only use religion in these situations.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jim Mitchell

    I thought you ran this story before. This has NOTHING to do with religious freedom. It has to do with disruption of the class. Research it further —- one kid sneezes, then someone stands up and says “God bless you”, then the kid says “thank you”, then another kid, then another yelling from across the room, and it continues with multiple kids, not just one. The teacher’s explanation included this, but of course it was cut out, so that people can try to say it was about religion. Had the kids said “Gesundheit”, which is “Good health”, he would have done the same. Check out the real story before you jump to conclusions.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment BL

    I’ll bet a dozen of Dunkin’s finest that this so-called “health teacher” Kookovitch wouldn’t verbally denounce a student or reduce his grade for saying something like “Buddha Bless You!” or “Allah Akbar!” as that would be racist and insensative.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Sandra Campbell

    I think Cuckovich if truth be known is an athenist.Thats why he don’t want to hear the word GOD in his class.Makes sense.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Terry

    The teacher is way off base and is using his classroom to express his own personal belief system. Actually, what he did conveyed more about his anti-God belief than what the student did, which was probably out of habit. Additionally, lowering a student’s academic grade as a punishment is illegal since those grades were earned by the student’s ability to comprehend the contents of the curriculum this teacher presented. If I were the parents I would sue the school board. The teacher should be disciplined about using his classroom to express his own anti-God, agnostic, atheistic beliefs to students who are there to learn the curriculum NOT the teacher’s religious views. Wake up people, schools are not forums for the beliefs of some very misguided educators who are not on the same page with the rest of us. Teachers are paid to teach the curriculum for which they were hired NOT religion, morals, etc. Parents do that at home–at least until our rights are completely taken away from us which they will be if we sit complacently by and allow this type of behavior by educators!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Allan

    Ifomena, this was probably an attempt to disrupt the class. If I had attempted to disrupt a class by saying “Gesundheit” I doubt that I would have been able sit comfortably for a week.
    I should like to point out that, to many people, such informal, and probably hypocritical, use “God” is, itself, sinful.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment rita

    What happened to the constitution, free speech, “under God”. I bet this “””Teacher”””, he’s not a teacher, he’s a taker, would have applauded the boy if he’d responded to the sneeze with f— you??!!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Sandy in NC

    Why should this teacher be able to make such a ridiculous rule in his classroom? How is this hurting anyone for one student to say God Bless You to another? I think it shows a sense of caring and thoughtfulness which is rare in today’s society as it is. Can’t we hang on to anything from the past? Or must we constantly conform to what the majority want? This is America and even our money states In God We Trust. I see nothing wrong with saying “God Bless You” when someone sneezes, I have been saying it for years and I tought my children and grandchildren to do the same; I don’t plan on changing that either. Mr.Cuckovich needs to concentrate on teaching his students.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment James Wilson

    Actually the teacher was wrong because the phrase,”God bless you” came from the times of the bubonic plague, better known as the Black Death. It was out of fear of the plague that it came from, not because of evil spirits, even though people believed in them.And they were right to be afraid of the plague. It was a horrible way to die.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment karen

    what is wrong with OUR country? why is everyone so afraid that saying anything that has GOD in it is going to offend someone elses belief.we have men and women fighting and dieing to defend our rights to do anything we believe in. this teacher should be punished for what he did. oh wait a minute he will have to answer to god one day. shame on him and shame on our gov. for taking GOD out of everything.

  • Gereen Salkowski

    Superstition’s nothing to sneeze at.
    There’s a lot of superstition involving sneezes, right down to which way we turn our heads. Among some people, such as the ancient Romans and Greeks, a sneeze to the right was a sign of luck and a sneeze to the left predicted a portentous future. Most cultures have an assumed response after someone sneezes: “Bless you” in English, “Salud” or “To your health” in Spanish, and so forth. In almost every language, the response translates to a wish for the sneezer’s good health.

    People also say “God Bless “You” because a sneeze causes your heart to skip a beat. The respectful and decent thing to do is to “Say God Bless” to the person sneezing. Not for the person to say that they are sorry for sneezing.


  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jim

    I can see now why so many parents are home schooling their children nowadays. The sad part is that our taxes support this kind of school officials behavior.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Sandra

    I believe this teacher went a little over board; by lowing this student grade. Did this student disturb the class in anyway? by saying “Bless You ” to enough student for squeezing or was there a test or exams going on when this student bless his/her classmate. Teacher and officials of this school give this student her point back on her assignment. Please…

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment CHERIE MEADOWS


  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment dalton

    obviously this teacher isn’t a christian.there is no harm in saying “bless you”,as a matter of fact i commend the student for being for making such a ridiculous claim that it was used to expel evil spirits is comical.maybe the school board should examine his job performance and reduce his pay scale based on his beliefs.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Candy Jarrell

    This type of stuff really gets under my skin. I can’t believe how senseless a thing this teacher had done. If I were the principle, I’d fire him. He is a disgrace to teaching everywhere. I assure you that all teachers don’t think this way, only teachers that have no morals what so ever. He is obviously not a Christian, and has something against Christianity. It’s time we Christians stand up and speak our mind concerning such issues. We can no longer stand by and let the minority dictate to us what and how we should show our faith. The day we let this happen, we might as well call this country anti-Christian.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment RBarbour

    If I am not mistaken, a sneeze indicates that your heart has stopped beating for that fraction of a second, that is why the God Bless you is seemed to be important. Often times, people just say, “bless you.”

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment norma

    It saddens me to know that there are those out and about in this u.S.A.,who have no use or respectfor the God who gave them life.Taking God out of the schools and other public places will continue to keep this country in the pitiful place that the country is in.May God have mercy on their souls.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Sue Robbins

    What has happened to this country? Our forefathers had specific goals in mind when they established the United States. One Nation under God with Liberty and Justice for all with God in the forefront. Don’t listen if you do not like it, but allow all the liberty of free speech for all as it is allowed for you. Do our teachers wear wedding rings, that is a religious symbol of commitment through most faiths but not all. Allow liberty as it was met to be with ONE NATION UNDER GOD.. Thank you

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment linda beverage

    I think this is wrong i say god bless you everyday to people i think that you say it it will make you a better person

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Kelly Dennis

    I really don’t get it…freedom of speach seems to apply to only certain groups of people. Today you need to be ‘politically correct’ but according to who? Come on…. this is getting out of hand. Who are making all of these decisions? It is the people WE have voted into these positions. Statistics show the majority of people feel the “in God we trust” “God bless America” and such should be allowed. Why are the few getting their way and the majority just sitting back and letting it happen? What can we as Christians do…without being total radicals that go to far? I would like to make a stand but not really sure how.

  • http://Postacomment Jessie

    There’s something to be said about the “punishment” dished out here. I don’t see a correlation between lowering a child’s academic marks as punishment for using an expression that has been around for years centuries.
    If people don’t like what Christians do-take the next flight back home. I imagine flights leave larger airports every 3-4 minutes! Otherwise, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

  • http://Seattleeggs Rose Ann Posch

    Bigotry and anti-Christian hatred is spreading. Let’s see how these people react when there is a severe tragedy. Many of these hypocrits turn to God for help.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment mrs. floydada

    May GOD BLEss YA ALL

  • Michael Allen

    “God bless you” is traditional, handed down from generation to generation. It’s not Biblical and it’s not from Christ, so it’s not Christian. What the Christian should do, because it’s the right thing to do, is put an end to the harassment of the teacher. It’s not the Christian’s fault at all, but I’ve put two and two together. It wouldn’t be an issue if it weren’t excessive. It appears some kids have taken note that the teacher thinks its disruptive, so they started acting out and making it even more disruptive. I wouldn’t give a blessing to a mocking student who fake sneezed just to get a rise out of the teacher.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment april Jones

    I don’t think it was right what that teacher did… I teach my 4 year old granddaughter to say bless you when I sneeze and she reminds me sometimes to say it her when she sneezes…There is nothing wrong with it… People can cuss, were profainty shirts and nothing is said but when you have Christians that what to speak for what the believe in, then everybody says something….

  • Drew

    Just one clarification for one of the older posts:

    You’re heart does NOT stop when you sneeze. Sneezing is an automatic reaction to an irritant in or around the nostrils that, apart from other things, causes some tightening of the chest muscles incident to drawing in air to expel the irritant. This may cause a sensation of the heart “skipping a beat” which is really felt because the beat after the sneeze feels more forceful and more noticeable.

    This teacher certainly overreacted and I don’t think a grade reduction was the appropriate course of action. Still, his point is valid — the concept of blessing someone who has sneezed is based on ancient superstition. Strictly speaking, such superstition has no place in an institution meant to teach children critical thinking and develop in them the ability to live in modern society.

    Apart from anything else though, this was still just a sneeze, and it’s ridiculous to try to transform this into a referendum on censorship or freedom of religion. Perhaps it was a slow news day in Vacaville, CA.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Dorothy

    No matter what man try to do, taking prayer out of school, removing God’s name from banners and other things, etc., you can not hinder the move of God. For all of these unbelivers one day you will be judged by the same God, the Lord that you are persecuting in this modern day. God Bless!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Steve

    How absolutely ridiculous! Are people for real??

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Pius Amaizu

    Quite bad and out of place in a free world were each is free to associate with any religion of choice. May God forgive this anti-Christ Teacher.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Dee

    How is explaining the origins of the ‘sneeze blessing’ a punishment?

    And the thing about the Pledge of Allegiance, the phrase ‘under God’ in the pledge legally until 1956.
    That’s about 180 years sans pledging to God, didn’t seem to mind back then.

    Religious people love to involve themselves in government matters, but when government matters get involved in religious matters, they consider it persecution.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment A.A.

    The further we get from God the more we are getting what we asked for.

    We need to reverse this trend of anti-Christian values.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment purnhart

    My mom has a family saying: if someone sneezes three times without someone saying God bless you, a leperchaun will come and get you. No, we don’t believe in lepercauns, but it was her way of getting us to say God bless you when people sneezed. If you get in trouble for saying God bless you, say Gesundheit instead. that is German for God bless you.

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  • NavinJay

    As an atheist, I am not going to say I agree with teachers and faculty proselytizing to children in a public school. I find it fascinating that only patriotic references to God seem to matter to these people. You don’t see these same people putting up sayings like “E Pluribus Unum” in their classrooms even though the saying was our national motto for over 200 years and it is displayed on our money and on Great Seal of the United States. Just anything that proselytizes their deity is all they are interested in displaying. But, that being said, I think this teacher went overboard on this particular case. Saying “God Bless You” or even “Bless You” is an almost knee jerk reaction for some people after having been saying it after people sneeze for so long. I don’t see anything wrong with it being said in the context I have read in this class room. I have personally retrained myself to say “Jeebo” or “Gesundheit” when someone sneezes because I don’t wish to be thought of as rude for saying nothing.

  • Yougo

    God bless you means “I hope you don’t get sick, or, have a bad cold coming on”. Do you think we could agree on that?

  • Yougo

    I’m not sure this is a true story, in fact, I bet it’s made up, and it never happened, unless the student did it so loud that it distracted the class and made everyone bust up just to annoy the teacher and attract attention to him or herself.

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  • Glasgow1975

    This actually happened in 2011, to post it now, or at least in 2014/5 is clutching at straws, to justify the non existent ‘War on Christians’

  • Punch

    That’s just crazy. And I’m an ateist!

  • dawei4321

    You’re very stupid. You’re also very ignorant and naive so educate yourself.

    Try reading the statistics of what has been going on for the last 100 years against Christians. More have been persecuted in the last 100 years than the last 2,000 years.

    If there is no war, then why all the frivolous law suits against Christians who wear a shirt to school that states Jesus died for your Sins or an old woman trying to get In God We Trust off of money? Do you even know her name or how long ago that was?

    Try reading the Bible and asking God into your heart and prove to you he is real. Then maybe he will open your eyes. Jesus said something about that too in the Gospels; how their eyes will be closed and never seeing. You may want to research that as well.

  • Glasgow1975

    You might want to try reading about The Crusades or The Inquisition. Oh and FYI ‘in god we trust’ wasn’t even added to your money until the 1950s. Frivolous lawsuits? How about so called Christians like Kim Davis not doing her fucking job and being the biggest hypocrite going with her 4 marriages and bastard children, or the bakery owners refusing to pay their fines for releasing private information about customers they refused to serve? Try reading a fucking science book or better yet just fuck off with your delusional rantings. Rational people stop believing in fairy tales.

  • dawei4321

    I will just have to stop blogging since I have to block so many vulgar and uneducated people like you. I hope you get this replay.
    Is this how your parents talk, using the F word every 5th word? You never once heard me say that Christians were perfect or that some people call themselves Christians but are not. Just because you say you are or go to church or say you believe Christ was God does not make you one. It is a changing of the heart and your whole attitude.
    I have read the history books, about how the Roman Catholic church helped the gov’t persecute people and have them thrown into prison.
    So, first lesson for you, and your last because I have no time for foul-mouthed people who cannot control themselves, and anybody who might read this. YOU pick up a book and read about how catholic means RC, Baptist, Lutheran, Episcopalian, etc. People are ignorant and do not even know this, like you.
    Second, you pick up the Bible, the most important book there is and read it so you can talk with a little authority.
    Third, you show me in your science books where there is a sentence that says God did not create the world or us.
    Many doctors and scientists have come to know God as the creator because going back to the beginning they have admitted and recognized that someone must have started the entire process, whether creating the gases that formed everything or putting them into motion.
    Fourth, you cannot jump species due to the DNA structure and how we are designed and put together. That was proven over 10 years ago. To think that a person came out of an amoeba after a billion years is the most stupidest thing to believe, imaginable.
    Fifth, I find it amazing that everything ion the world changes but in your region of the world the grass is green every Spring and the leaves falls off in the Fall yet, short of something major happening in the atmosphere, it is all consistent for thousands of years since man has been here. How would a scientist explain that some things are consistent but others are not? Chance? I do not think so. And for your information I scored in the top 10% of the state and county in math and science.
    Sixth, what kind of a God or father would create some people gay and then say in both the OT and NT, “The adulterer, the idolater, the homosexual, ….. not inherit the kingdom.”
    Ending statement: you need to get into the mind of God and understand him and what he wants for all of us. Love is one. You do not have that to start with. Learn to have an intimate relationship with him and you will understand why he created us and what he wants from us.
    Good-bye and God bless you on your journay.

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