Cuckovich Defends Sneezing Policy

"Vich" in Slavic languages means "son of" so I think an interpretation of Cuckovich as "Son of a cuckoo" would pass muster. He does give the impression of being opposed to courtesies and politeness.
The common practice of saying "God bless you" after someone sneezes is a part of American culture. But it sparked a new controversy at a Bay Area high school this week.

Teacher Steve Cuckovich docked his students scores if after they said "bless you" in the middle of class. He says talking of any kind is disruptive and takes time away from class.

"The blessing doesn't make any sense anymore," Cuckovich told the Fox affiliate in Sacramento. "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."

Some parents were furious with the teacher claiming his rule was anti-religious.

Cuckovich apparently listened to the parents. He says he will no longer deduct points from assignments for the disruption, but he added he will continue to control his classroom.

On Thursday, the district made it first comments on the issue. Superintendent John Niederkorn said that Cuckovich thought the students were sneezing in dramatic fashion with the intent of disrupting class.

Of question is whether a series of these repeated remarks by several students constitutes freedom of speech or a classroom disruption and merits student discipline.

Certainly a blessing by one individual to another after a sneeze is a welcomed acknowledgement of a social norm.


I think the kids possibly were making a game out of it and using it to disrupt the class but the cuckoo was a fool to bring religion into it. Just sticking to it as a disciplinary matter would probably have gone unnoticed.

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