When you sneeze, what do you think happens? Do you think you have just expelled a piece of your soul at 100 miles per hour? Do you think you were getting rid of evil spirits? Regardless of whether you think a sneeze is a reaction to irritants in the nose or a counter-attack to a demon, the common response to a sneeze is to say “God bless you” or “bless you” for short. However, one teacher has put his foot down and started penalizing students for saying “bless you” following a sneeze.

Steve Cuckovich, a health teacher at a high school in Vacaville, California (near Sacramento), told his class that saying “bless you” after a sneeze is disruptive to the class. As KABC in Sacramento reports, the teacher even knocked 25 points off a student’s grade for saying the words following another student’s sneeze.

Isn’t this just a little bit crazy? How many sneezes actually happen during a class period? How many seconds are actually lost by saying “bless you”? It’s hard to believe that this is an actual story, but when you think about it, common sense has been going down hill for years.

It’s called tradition. Tapping wine glasses together was originally started to show that you didn’t believe your host was poisoning your wine. Since there doesn’t seem to be an epidemic of wine poisonings, is it just a waste of time and a disruption to say “cheers,” tap your glasses, and have a drink? Saying “God bless you” is a tradition. It is not a big deal, and it is certainly not a class disruption. And… in the case that I did just blow out my soul, it’s nice to know that a friend has my back.

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