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A fourth-grader was sent to Zoom detention. Her mom explained why that's messed up.

Some students are being sent to "Zoom detention" for not paying attention during online class. Uju Anya, a concerned parent, expressed why this is problematic.

A fourth-grader was sent to Zoom detention. Her mom explained why that's messed up.
Image Source: (L) Twitter/ UjuAnya (R) Getty Images/ FG Trade

It has been over a year since various states across the country went into lockdown owing to the ongoing pandemic. As a result, families all over the United States have had to adjust to digital modes of work and school. Unfortunately, some schools have found it more difficult than others to find appropriate methods of teaching and punishment in light of these unprecedented circumstances. While some educators believe that punishments should be done away with completely given the current situation, others have simply tried to replicate offline modes online. Such was the case with Twitter user Uju Anya's daughter's teacher, who subjected the little one to "Zoom detention." In a now-viral Twitter thread, the mother, a university professor herself, has explained why the punishment is not just unimaginative, but cruel as well.




"My child got sent to Zoom detention for not paying attention in Zoom fourth grade," Anya wrote. "[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 explained that the punishment was an "office referral," which is when a teacher gives multiple verbal warnings during lesson time before sending the student to the principal's office and notifying their parents. During detention, the student is expected to discuss and reflect with a behavior interventionist. Yes, a nine-year-old was supposed to meet with a behavior interventionist. Why, you ask?




Anya shared, "The repeated behavior the teacher warned my nine-year-old and emailed me previously about is my child's inability to focus consistently in online class and complete the assignments. She frequently gets distracted, plays computer games, ignores the teacher, or just signs off Zoom." This, as several parents will note, is typical behavior that many of their own children would have exhibited over the past year. The mother pointed out that her daughter has been "struggling to keep it together during this pandemic like all of us."




Their family chose online learning in order to keep their child safe, even though completing fourth grade online is a challenging task. "It's also hard for the teacher who manages both kids in class and online," Anya noted. "But Zoom detention is ridiculous." Indeed, she took a strong stance against the punishment. Ever since she posted her first tweet, it has been retweeted over 31,900 times. It has also received more than 341,000 likes. Dozens of folks even reached out in support of the mother.




One Twitter user responded, "Imma say it again: We can’t learn while we are experiencing ongoing trauma. Not sure how or whether this has been traumatic for your child but overall the loss of routine, fear around Covid, etc has been traumatic for many. We are penalizing kids for having normal brains." Another added, pointing out the obvious, "Let me get this straight. The 'solution' to a child struggling with zoom fatigue is to give them more zoom? I mean. Come on." Others, still, apologized for the difficult time Anya and her child were being put through. The mother thanked those who reached out to her in support and affirmed that she would not be sending her daughter to Zoom detention.



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