Anyone who currently knows any teachers, or who may even be a teacher themselves, are likely aware of the trials and tribulations of remote learning. Adults aren’t the only ones experiencing Zoom fatigue, and it can be difficult enough as it is to get kids to stay focused outside of a pandemic. But the very thought of punishing struggling students may seem absurd, which is why one mom was flabbergasted to learn that her child had received “Zoom detention” for not paying attention in class.
Penn State University linguistics professor Dr. Uju Anya shared her exasperation on Twitter this week after learning of the news. Because that’s just what kids need, right? More screens?
“My child got sent to Zoom detention for not paying attention in Zoom 4th grade,” Anya tweeted on Tuesday, April 6. “[The] email said here’s the link to access the room to serve detention.”
“I swear I’m trying so hard to take this life seriously,” she deadpanned, echoing what many of us are certainly feeling. Anya likewise shared additional details in a five-part tweet thread.
The original tweet quickly went viral with over 300,000 likes within just 24 hours, as thousands of parents undoubtedly empathized with her struggles. Anya soon followed up to thank everyone for their “thoughtfulness and support.”
“I can’t possibly address all the replies and quotes, but I appreciate everyone,” she added. “I have to go teach my own class now, but for those asking, yes, ‘virtual detention’ were their exact words, and, no, I’m not sending my child.”
In a message to the Daily Dot, Anya said that she hasn’t yet received a response from the teacher who referred her child to Zoom detention.
“This is absurd. Punishment based discipline in schools is ableist, unscientific, disproportionately affects BIPOC and needs to GO,” replied one user. “Sounds like she needs a walk outside, not detention,” added another. “This is hard on everyone and kids need grace! Hang in there, so many frustrations these days.”
Twitter user @darth may have summed it up best with a succinct: “omfg.”
Mass vaccination distribution is already giving us a tantalizing glimpse of life as we knew it and there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel. But in the meantime, as far as Zoom detentions go? This ain’t it.