Calif. Student Punished for Saying "Bless You"

“Wood High Principal Cliff McGraw agreed that Cuckovich [the teacher ] went overboard in his punishment.”

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Susan R's picture


I am not fond of the use of the word 'persecution' to describe such incidents, but I agree that this kind of singling out of religious, especially Christian, expression is a very slippery slope.

I converse with parents and am in our public schools often enough to know that obscenities and profanities are tolerated, as well as lewd behavior. You can blaspheme "Jesus Christ" all the livelong day, but you can't pray out loud. You can drop your pants and moon your classmates, but don't suggest that kids remain abstinent until marriage, unless you hand out a condom while you say it.

For people who don't believe that this attitude leaks into the church, my dh and I know a pastor with kids in public school, and his attitude toward fornication was "I teach my kids what the Bible says, and hope they don't have sex before marriage, but if they are going to do it, and they probably will, they should at least practice safe sex." A pastor, in an IFB church. Oh yeah.

And his advice for me? Put our kids in public school and get a job to be a help to my husband financially because our local schools are so great and his kids are doing just fine. Did I mention that his children are sexually active, and not married? ][img ][/img ]

That doesn’t mean that the health teacher will now allow students to speak the words “bless you” in his classroom. He just will find a less Draconian way to punish perpetrators, he said.

Uh-huh, those predatory Christians, with all that icky teaching about sacrificial love and morality. The lions, the tigers, the bears, oh my.

Mike Durning's picture

There are several things I wish I knew about this matter.

1). Is the student a Christian? It sounds like it could have happened to anyone.
2). Does the teacher take the Lord's name in vain in various common ways. "Oh, my God" or others. If not, would he punish a student outburst like that.
3). Would he extract the same penalty for foul language? In other words, do students use the "F-word" all the time, and he only cautions them?
4). Will he move on to punishing other Christian/Biblical expressions? “man after my own heart” “thorn in the flesh” “Am I my brother’s keeper?” “as old as the hills” “at his wits end” “bite the dust” “writing on the wall” “flesh and blood” “apple of my eye” “forbidden fruit” “blind leading the blind” “salt of the earth” “no rest for the wicked” “Lamb to the slaughter”
5). Will he move on to punishing other superstitious expressions? "break a leg" "the evil eye"
6). Will he move on to punishing all expressions drawn from any religious or superstitious beliefs? Days of the week. Months of the year.

If you want to remove all religious belief from language, you may as well start by re-writing the whole language.