Saturday, October 1, 2011

Health Teacher Punishes Student for Saying "Bless You"

"You know we're Catholic. We're supposed to say, you know, your religion," a student from Will C. Wood High School said.

"It's respectful to say bless you," another student added.

But health teacher Steve Cuckovich believes it's more disrespectful to say "Bless You," in his class, even disruptive, to the point that he's knocked off 25 points from a student's grade for saying it.

"Man, you gonna lose points if you say bless you in the classroom. Man, that's messed up," reacted another student, outside after school on Tuesday.

"It's not... got anything to do with religion. It's got to do with an interruption of class time," Cuckovich told FOX40 in an exclusive interview.

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

Cuckovich reiterated his discipline had nothing to do with religion. This is his explanation you will only see on FOX40:

"The blessing doesn't really make sense anymore," he said. "When you sneeze 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 doesn't really make any sense anymore."

"Everybody has their right to their own beliefs," Johnson said. But they don't have rights to impose those beliefs on other people, especially not school children."

FOX40 spoke to the school's principal about the situation, watch his reaction here.

Cuckovich says he won't hesistate to discipline his students - just not that way anymore. Principal Cliff DeGraw agrees.

"He realizes there's better ways to do that. We don't condone that type of punishment," DeGraw said.

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