School Launches Probe into 'God Bless You' Case

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Saying "God bless you" after someone sneezes is common practice in the U.S -- even a part of the culture.
   
But last week, Vacaville, Calif., teacher Steven Cuckovich took steps to ban those words from his classroom

"I sneezed and someone said 'bless you' and he said, 'Do you think that girl is evil? Do you think the evil spirits are coming out of here?'" student Taylor McGinley recalled.

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

"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 the evil spirits," he explained.

"But today I said really what you're doing doesn't make any since anymore," the teacher said.
    
Then Cuckovich implemented a new policy that shocked students and outraged parents. He docked 25 points from the grade of any student who said "bless you" in class.
    
Cuckovich says that talking of any kind is disruptive. He feels that when students use the phrase they take time away from class.
    
Parents brought the issue to the attention of the school district.
    
After an investigation, they said that the students appeared to be dramatically sneezing repeatedly to disrupt the classroom.
    
But Cuckovich later gave a reporter a different story. He said he was trying to educate his class on the outdated phrase.
    
Cuckovich now says he will no longer deduct points from assignments for the disruption. But he warns parents that he will continue to control his classroom.

"He realizes there are other better ways to do that and that we don't condone that type of punishment," school principal Cliff DeGraw said.
   
The school district is still investigating the issue.

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