When someone sneezes, a common response is, “God bless you.” But one California teacher finds this statement so offensive and disruptive that he’s working to cut back on its usage in the classroom.I agree that sometimes, students say "Bless you" or "God bless you" in a manner designed to be disruptive, but the vast majority of the time it's just a trained response. Sometimes I'll tell students about the origins of the phrase--a medieval superstition wherein a sneeze was an expulsion of the soul--but that's mostly just for information.
Steve Cuckovich, a health teacher at William C. Wood High School in Vacaville, California, has attempted to banish the friendly gesture, as he believes it is both disrespectful and disruptive. To punish students who do, indeed, say “God bless you” after one of their classmates sneezes, he purportedly knocks 25 points off of their grade.
I understand if this teacher wants students to stop blurting out phrases, but he seriously crosses a line when he lowers an academic grade for non-academic purposes. Behavior, tardies, absences, etc. should not affect an academic grade, IMNSHO.