Teacher Lowers Grades of Students Who Say 'Bless You'

California public school teacher Steve Cuckovich pissed off religiously minded parents—and Jesus—when he reduced the test score of a student who said "bless you" to a sneezy girl-classmate. Saying "bless you" is disruptive, Cuckovich says. But so is sneezing, so hopefully he lowered the girl's test score as well.

Given that Cuckovich is a health teacher, he knows a bit about the History of Sneezing. The whole "bless you" thing (or "God bless you" thing, as some outlets report) "doesn't really make sense anymore," he says: back in the olden days, people only said it because they thought sneezing released the evil spirits lurking inside of the sneezer. (This is only one interpretation of the saying and its origins, though!—Ed.) Since those dumb, dark days, science has shown us that evil spirits don't really exist (except in the televisions); therefore, there's no longer any reason to bless anyone, and teachers should be allowed to dock 25 points off the test scores of students who drudge up silly old customs in order to disrupt class with their superstitious bullshit.

The religiously minded parents of these test-taking students, who now dislike Cuckovich very much, thank you, believe Cuckovich is violating their children's right to talk about God in health class. As one concerned dad astutely pointed out, "First, the Pledge of Allegiance. Now, preventing a kid from saying 'bless you?'" Public school math teachers aren't even allowed to hang religious banners in their classrooms anymore. FWIW, Cuckovich says religion's got nothing to do with it, but adds that he'll no longer punish students who say bless you by reducing their test scores. Which makes sense, because it's just as stupid to arbitrarily mess with students' test results as it is to bless sneezers who don't have evil spirits lurking within them (unless you consider that germs work like "evil spirits" in bringing about suffering and illness, in which case Cuckovich is sort of wrong about everything).

[KNSS]