April 5, 2011

Professor makes professor look woefully abused by leaving out the key phrase "on her hands."

Lawprof Paul Caron stirs us up with this:
Professor Arrested for Shutting Student's Laptop in Class

Frank J. Rybicki, an assistant professor of mass media at Valdosta State University, was arrested by campus police last week on a charge of battery after shutting the laptop of a student who was web surfing in class.
I click on one of the links and find this:
An assistant professor of mass media at Valdosta State University, in Georgia, was arrested last week on charges of battery after a confrontation with a student over extracurricular Web surfing during class led him allegedly to close the lid of the student’s laptop computer on her hands....
On her hands.

56 comments:

TWM said...

I hear in Afghanistan they just cut off the hands of law students who dare to Twitter in class. But only because a butterfly here in the USA lands on a Koran.

tim maguire said...

Battery involves unwanted contact. Absent some such phrase as "on her hands", it is not battery. Even if tax is his specialty, Prof. Caron probably knew he was leaving out the key fact.

The Drill SGT said...

New Media distorts for ratings, just like old media.

Is anybody surprised?

Althouse has been known to be creative :)

Pogo said...

Oh for Pete's sake.
Did she chip a nail?

This is why every grade school kid needs to have had a 1950s-era nun for a teacher.

Palms out, flat side of the ruler **THWAP!!*.
If recalcitrant, it's your knuckles. Or your ass (using the "Board of Education".

Behavior problem solved.

Lincolntf said...

Cry me a river. Little Susie has a boo-boo on one of her sausage fingers.
You don't want to pay attention in class? Don't go. You're only costing the rest of us money through guaranteed loans that you'll never pay back. If the student had been male I would suggest that the professor whack him in the head a few times for using his classroom as a spot to flop.

Hagar said...

How about in the comments, the University has "ordered" the students not to talk about it?

lemondog said...

Did he slam it down on her hands or merely push it down?

traditionalguy said...

Valdosta State has a terrible excuse for a college student body being given HOPE Scholarship free education, and where repeating middle school subjects is more than the students can handle.

T J Sawyer said...

Interesting that you could read the story at both The Blaze and Huffington Post and never see "hands" mentioned.

I guess that the "new media" are finally catching on to how this whole reporting thing works.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Must have been a slow day for the campus cops.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I thought for sure that 3/4 of the comments to this one would be "BEST PRICE laptop battery" followed by a string of Chinese characters.

Harry Phartz said...

Traditionalguy:

I dunno. I looked at their (albeit primitive) website and it had photos of attractive coeds walking in the sunshine on the flower lined campus. So, they have that going for them.

Pogo said...

Little barbarians to whom the word "No" is never spoken, grow into adult barbarians who cannot handle authority.

Worse, the University capitulates. The cops capitulate.
Battery?
They cannot be serious.

She should have been kicked out of class long before.

bagoh20 said...

Oh the humanity!

MayBee said...

Just yesterday I heard a UW professor on NPR complaining about McCarthyism (first Walker engaging in it, then the FOIA against him!). Now this.
Ah, the good people of Wisconsin.

Roger J. said...

yet another mouse turn pole vaulted over
(sorry to end the sentence with a preposition)

Pogo said...

Mouse turns are the worst.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

This is why every grade school kid needs to have had a 1950s-era nun for a teacher.

Palms out, flat side of the ruler **THWAP!!*.


Or better yet something like THIS?? Makes me laugh every time.

How oblivious was this student that the teacher had probably been asking her to pay attention for some time and had actually approached her. Obvlivious and entitled.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Previous post would have been better without all the typos. Must. have. more. coffee.

:-D

mark said...

If I had a laptop shut on my hands I would be more worried about breaking the screen then hurting my hands. I don't know if it is possible for it it really hurt you.

A better response is stopping the lecture, walking over to the student, and quietly staring at them and the screen. Ask if they are done and would rather join the class then insult me and the other students by acting like a jerk. Embarrassment usually works.

rhhardin said...

I had a math professor who was deadly accurate with a line-drive chalk shot at dozing students.

That was back in the good old days.

The web has done more to prevent dozing today than anything else.

JAL said...

OK DBQ.

I watched the fix for ADD.

And then made the mistake of clicking on the blonde Miss Teen South Carolina. Or whatever she is/was.

I had to stop by the fourth (or maybe the third sentence).

Oh. Too painful. My husband told me to keep it down I was laughing so hard. Soooo bad.

Shame on you.

Maybe she went to Valdosta State?

JAL said...

hey rh -- in jr high shool (now called Middle School to protect the inferiority of the juniors) our English teacher was great with chalk board erasers.

I heard that he retired a few years back when some parent took issue with that and he was reprimanded (or maybe even sued.)

What *is it* with *you* people????

Regards to you Mr. Casey, wherever you are.

JAL said...

Did anyone ask if the professor felt demeaned and belittled by the treatment he was receiving from his students, and especially this one?

You know, when it goes on and on like this, I bet he was perpetually aggrieved.

So. By Lindsey Graham & Co's logic, what's a little laptop smack when he would have been justified to behead her?

Thorley Winston said...

It doesn’t seem like a difficult call at all. If you have a beef with someone and you can resolve it without touching them or their property, that’s the way you’re supposed to handle it. I don’t think there’s any serious doubt that if the professor had damaged the laptop by accidentally knocking it on the floor when shutting it, he’d be in trouble. Making an unwanted contact with the student by shutting it on her fingers, even more so. There are other ways to handle this and the professor should have used one of those.

Hoosier Daddy said...

One of my favorite profs on college was my poli-sci prof. He had no expectations that we sat rivited at attention or if we even slept in class. All he asked is you not snore. His attitude was that he was paid the same whether you showed up, read a magazine or dozed off.

I think too many professors are attention hogs. Kind of like annoying kids always yelling 'look at meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!'

The Crack Emcee said...

That's not assault, that's an accident. The other profs should stand with him. Let a student get away with a lie like this and you're all screwed.

People are petty, insane, and worthless.

MayBee said...

There is no need to close a laptop on a student's hands.

There is no need to misrepresent what happened.

This yet another tale of students who want to be entitled and professors who want to be under assault.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Making an unwanted contact with the student by shutting it on her fingers, even more so. There are other ways to handle this and the professor should have used one of those.

They say that teaching children, and evidently young adults in college still qualify as children, is like herding cats.

I have found that the best way to train my cats (from getting on the counter or to stop them from clawing the furniture), was a really good long distance squirt gun. A squirt of water coupled with a loud and firm "NO!" always did the trick.

The teachers should be armed and ready with a good squirt gun. It would be fun for everyone.....well maybe except for the student/cat.

Lincolntf said...

The best corporal punishment I ever saw administered by a teacher was the "blue dot". Anyone know what that is, or is it just a MA/Catholic school thing?

Lincolntf said...

Oh, I forgot to describe it. The "blue dot" was just a rumor to me until one day when I saw it laid down with a swift and sure ferocity by Coach "Wizzer" White, a poli-sci/history teacher at my high school. He grabbed the kid (a total wiseass who eventually flunked out) by the tip of the nose and squeezed it between his thumb and index finger for about a minute, leaving a perfectly circular purple bruise that lasted for weeks. It was awesome.

Triangle Man said...

Sounds like a hate crime to me. The professor hates it when students surf in class.

Triangle Man said...

I have found that the best way to train my cats (from getting on the counter or to stop them from clawing the furniture), was a really good long distance squirt gun. A squirt of water coupled with a loud and firm "NO!" always did the trick.

For our cats the "NO!" would be superfluous.

Rube said...

LincolnF
St. Mary's Catholic School, Stoughton Ma. 8 years during the 40's, connot remember the blue but the ruler, well that's another story.

edutcher said...

It says "close the lid", not slam or anything like it, so I assume this was relatively benign.

JAL said...

hey rh -- in jr high shool (now called Middle School to protect the inferiority of the juniors) our English teacher was great with chalk board erasers.

You, too?

We had a guy who took aim like a sniper. Very accurate.

Lincolntf said...

Rube, I was at St. John's (S) in the Eighties, and I think rulers were kind of passe by then. We had multiple chalk-snipers and a few Brothers who would challenge students to fistfights when things got heated, but for some reason I don't remember any ruler-whacks. Probably blocked them out of my memory.

Rube said...

Lincoln, would that have been St. Johns in Canton?

Class factotum said...

A better response is stopping the lecture, walking over to the student, and quietly staring at them and the screen.

My dad was a teacher and he used this method: he just walked and stood next to the misbehaving student until the undesirable behavior stopped. Seventh graders do not like to be the center of attention in the classroom.

Lincolntf said...

Nope, Shrewsbury. People used to always assume Danvers, so I add the (S) like the local sports pages do. I can't imagine how many St. Mary's, St. John's, St. Peter's, etc. there are in MA, probably hundreds.

Michael said...

I was educated at the hands, literally, of the Christian Brothers. They would begin with the metal rulers and escalate to face punching if required. If you fought with another kid at recess they would make you stay after school and fight again, in the handball court with various Brothers observing from above. This, I can tell you, concentrated the mind. Oh, and if your parents complained they were reminded of the the first day of school at which time the Brothers informed the parents that they were uninterested and indifferent to any parental input, philosophies or theories on either academic or disciplinary matters. And if the parent squawked the kid was asked to leave the school. No refund of the prepaid tuition. This had an effect on the homelife as well as you might imagine since any fuckup by the kid would be paid for by the parent.

We are completely fucked as a nation. Completely. Pussies. Crybabies. Infantile teachers, parents and public servants.

John Kindley said...

Sounds like this student had a woefully inadequate reaction time.

Lincolntf said...

'...they would make you stay after school and fight again, in the handball court with various Brothers observing from above."

This was true at my school too. I only had to fight once in the racquetball court, after that all such unpleasantness was saved for the weekends.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Purely random link. I can't even begin to imagine what made me think of it.

Joe said...

The professor should have then taken the laptop and beaten the student over the head with it and then run the student off campus.

This is a pure bullshit story. The student is a complete asshole and very likely annoying the shit out of other students who were there to learn.

I'll bet whatever you want that all the PC suggestions here for shaming wouldn't have worked. This student has been coddled his whole life and only a punch in the face is going to start getting him back to earth.

Want to improve education in this country? Allow bad teachers and bad students to be immediately kicked out of school. I'm not talking about the kid who brings a plastic knife in his lunch bag, but the bullies and disruptive students and incompetent teachers. We all know who they were.

JAL said...

I only glanced at The Blaze which said it was her finger -- or fingers (not clear).

Accidental, for sure. It's pretty clear he didn't mean to hurt her.

And yeah. She reportedly was on FACEBOOK.

THe kicker for me is that she was not 18 or 19. She is 22.

We have 22 year old LTs in Afghanistan. And plenty of US Marines who are 22 -- men and women.

When my kid was 22 the US Army gave him a $6 million dollar+ piece of weaponized machinery to fly.

She's an adult. But if I were her mother I would take her to the woodshed and tell her she was not to embarass our family anymore.

She needs to withdraw the charge and apologize for being disrespectful. On Facebook, too.

virgil xenophon said...

JAL,rhhardin/

Heh. My 7th grade (JrHS-56-57) teacher,(male, mid-40s--from Wisc., no less) in my rural downstate Illinois Lab school (EIU) was a veteran of the blue-collar part of the Detroit public school system (albeit in the early 50s) and had an unerring aim with the chalk-eraser--as I can personnally attest! LOL.

Beth said...

I tried slamming my Macbook lid on my hand just now and couldn't generate any discomfort. Maybe she was using some sort of armored Hummer of a laptop.

From comments at the student newspaper, it looks like her classmates are siding with their prof and describe the student as a diva and a longtime pain in the ass.

He could have handled it better - standing behind her and reading aloud her Facebook or Twitter or whatever might have been fun. But if he loses his job over this, he's been royally fucked over.

Trooper York said...

Why didn't he handle it the way roachy does with his female students?

Withholding his sexual favors. Just sayn'

Michael said...

He deserves to get sued, for helping create more lawyers.

Deb said...

She's no doubt majoring in Women's and Gender Studies

Carey said...

I had a prof who dealt w/classroom sleepers by asking the class not to wake the sleeper when the class ended. When the kid woke up during the next class, he was embarrassed badly enough that he quit sleeping in class (or at least that prof's class).

Iapetus said...

"He could have handled it better - standing behind her and reading aloud her Facebook or Twitter or whatever might have been fun."

There is a tried and true method for dealing with such situations, known to all college instructors. It's called THE POP QUIZ. Students tremble at mention of the dreaded surprise quiz. Plus, there's no better way to turn the ire of the rest of class against a truant student than a POP QUIZ. Keep one handy at all times....and be sure to have a really difficult one in your briefcase, just in case.

Michael K said...

"I was educated at the hands, literally, of the Christian Brothers. They would begin with the metal rulers and escalate to face punching if required. "

My jaw still pops from being slugged by my mechanical drawing teacher/brother.

One of my classmates wised off to another brother who simply said "OK Let's put the gloves on." After school they went down to the gym and put on boxing gloves. The brother, who was a head shorter than the kid, beat the crap out of him. He had been a featherweight champ in Ireland.

I was shocked last year to learn how many medical students skip class. The lessons are all on the schools web site and some of the lecturers could use some improvement but I would never have had the guts to do that.

Pop quizes are an excellent remedy, I suspect, assuming the kid cares about her grade.

Ms said...

I have no problem with the professor's actions. None.

If you're told to close your notebook, that doesn't mean spending another 15 minutes giving shoutouts on your facebook page. The student was disrespectful of both the professor and every other student in that class and should have been bounced out on her @ss.

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Why was he doing this.
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