Friday, September 30, 2011

"Bless You" Punished In The Classroom

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Steve Cuckovich, a health teacher at Wood High School in Vacaville, CA lowered a student's grade 25 points for saying "bless you" when someone sneezed.

Parents say it doesn't make sense. The principal says it makes no sense to him and the teacher went way overboard.

However, the teacher's explanation is more troubling to me than his action. And do you know where the phrase "Bless You" actually came from?

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The teacher told KTXL News in Sacramento, "It's anything to do with religion," (exact quote) explaining it had to do with interrupting the class.

Then the following mini lecture was given:

"The blessing really doesn't make sense anymore, 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."

What the teacher is doing really does make sense to me, and more importantly, to many parents in the school district and in California.

California public schools have become a battleground of attempts to punish and silence the voices of evangelical Christians in recent months. And they know it.

I have linked this story here. The story references several recent religious freedom cases in California public schools and evangelicals are taking note. You should be aware regardless of which state you live in.

In this context, the teacher's comments and explanation is troublesome and telling. If an educator chooses to use an age old expression as a "teaching" moment, the teacher should have some understanding of the age old expression.

If this teacher is conversant with the many possible and conflicting origins of the "bless you" phrase, he chose the most demeaning, degrading and pejorative explanations possible to share with the press and the kids and parents.

Snopes says of the phrase, "Some questions, no matter how simple, don't have one knowable answer. Though a number of 'explanations' exist for this custom, nothing points to any of them being it's origin."

Wikipedia says the origin is unknown, but gives several possibilities.

My point is not where the phrase came from, rather why did the teacher feel the need to expound on it since he said punishing the kid wasn't about religion, but about disrupting the classroom.

Then he made it about religion, because to him, it was all about religion.


There are a number of public school teachers who are deeply committed to teaching our kids. However, there is a group of activists in classrooms across America who are closely aligned with the National Education Association's political and social agenda, who are overtly pro-abortion, pro-homosexual agenda, anti-Christian, anti-American and take every opportunity to socially indoctrinate our children. Division is often created between parents who are teaching their children Judeo-Christian values at home and the social experimentation being advanced in the public school's classrooms.

I think this is one more example of what happens day in and day out in too many public schools.

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  1. I'm just curious why Gary has been suspiciously avoiding the trials and convictions of parents trusting god to heal their children here in Oregon.

    Isn't this one of the greatest tests of religious freedom? Isn't this an example of the government telling parents that their religion is wrong?

  2. To differentiate between the two, I do not see how saying Bless You" or even, Heaven forbid "God Bless You" is in any way harmful to a person. I also do not see any reason to take my child to the emergency room when they have a sniffle.

    It is not specified what grade was lowered - was this a day's homework grade or the quarter/semester grade? Perhaps we should seek the teacher's home address so we can go 'reason' with him as the pro homosexual activists want to do in Washington state with the addresses of the signers of the petition for Referendum 71.

  3. "I also do not see any reason to take my child to the emergency room when they have a sniffle."

    Nor would I. I would, however, turn to medical professionals for a serious medical condition. The people in Oregon didn't. They prayed to God. And a jury found them guilty of manslaughter. There have been several cases like this for this faith healing group.

    I'm just wondering why Gary is so afraid to comment on this current news?


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