a bokken still needs to be treated with respect.
I agree with you completely Bryan.
As many people have already said your instructor knows how things should be done within your dojo. When you travel to other dojos, you should follow the way that its members handle the bokken. That's the when in Rome concept of course. There are no official rules, but I've visited many dojos and I've found some things to be generally accepted. As was already said, the tip usually always faces away from images of the founder. The handle is kept close to the right hand. As for other things, all dojos to it differently. When bowing with a bokken to the founder, some dojos have the blade turned in, and some turned out. Also, some dojos always (when standing) hold the bokken in the left hand ready to be drawn, and some hold it in the right hand until the practice begins, or until they are facing a partner rather than the instructor. Just follow.