I thought California was obsessed with promoting "civility" in schools. The California State University System tried to mandate student civility, and now simply recommends it. And an entire county is promoting it among students.
That's why I was surprised to read about a Northern California public school teacher who has been penalizing students' grades for saying, "bless you" in class. What gives? Did he not get the memo? Or is he simply irritated by the religious roots of this cultural courtesy? (For what it's worth, the teacher claims the phrase is "disrespectful and disruptive.")
Parents took matters into their own hands and staged a "bless-in". Just kidding. But parents did complain and the teacher stopped taking points off students' grades. Instead, he says he'll find another way to punish students for saying "bless you."
Perhaps he should just let students be polite to each other and focus on teaching.
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