Georgia professor bans students from saying ‘bless you’ in class

Kaitlyn Schallhorn
Reporter

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  • Professor Leon Gardner promises to take up to 15 percent of a student's final grade if they disrupt his class.
  • The professor warns that "[e]specially egregious behavior could result in expulsion from the class, withdrawal from the course, and disciplinary action from the college."
  • Students enrolled in certain classes at the College of Coastal Georgia may want to think twice about coming to class sick—or else their peers may get into trouble.

    Dr. Leon Gardner, assistant professor of chemistry at the college, made it clear in his to Introductory Physics class syllabus that he does not tolerate disruptive behavior while he is teaching—and that includes everything from talking to classmates, sharpening a pencil, and to saying “bless you.”

    "We are taught that it is polite to say ‘bless you’ when someone sneezes. However, if you say this while I am talking, it is NOT polite, it is very rude."   

    “We are taught that it is polite to say ‘bless you’ when someone sneezes. However, if you say this while I am talking, it is NOT polite, it is very rude,” Gardner’s syllabus, which was provided to Campus Reform via email, states.

     

    Gardner promises a grade reduction of up to 15 percent of the final grade to any student who disrupts his class. In the syllabus, he explicitly states that saying “bless you,” interrupting him for handouts that were available prior to class time, and sharpening a pencil are the worst disruptive offenses and could warrant an immediate one percent reduction from the students’ final grades.

    “Especially egregious behavior could result in expulsion from the class, withdrawal from the course, and disciplinary action from the college,” Garner’s syllabus warns.

    “I don’t know why I should be addressing this to you,” Gardner said when asked for comment from Campus Reform prior to hanging up.

    College of Coastal Georgia is a public college with approximately 3,474 students enrolled.

    Last week a high school student in Tennessee was suspended after saying “bless you” to her classmate.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @K_Schallhorn

    Kaitlyn Schallhorn

    Kaitlyn Schallhorn

    Reporter

    Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a reporter with Campus Reform. Prior to joining Campus Reform, Kaitlyn was a reporter at Red Alert Politics and covered business and restaurants for the Alexandria Times.  

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