A big part of our lives was transferred to the online space in the past year, mainly for people whose work can be done from home and for students who previously spent more than half of their days at school or universities. But it’s not easy to keep up, especially for the younger ones. Concentrating at school was hard enough, but at home, where there’s so much distraction and the environment is better suited for relaxing rather than being productive, it’s even more difficult.

However, not everyone feels compassionate about students having difficulties attending online classes. Recently, a tweet went viral in which a mother was expressing her frustration about a teacher putting her child in detention for not paying attention during classes. People in the comments were exasperated by this decision and didn’t agree with it.

More info: twitter.com

Uju Anya is a mom that got frustrated about her 9-year-old daughter being sent to Zoom detention and her Tweet went viral

Image credits: Thomas Park (not the actual photo)

Uju Anya is a university professor and researcher in applied linguistics, critical sociolinguistics, and critical discourse studies. So, better than anyone, she knows the difficulties of both teachers and students that arose during this pandemic. But she couldn’t believe her eyes when she received an email with a link to her daughter’s detention room. Apparently, Zoom detention is a thing and after a whole day of Zoom classes, children that don’t meet the teacher’s expectations have to continue being on the computer.

She couldn’t believe that the teacher would discipline her daughter for not paying attention in online school by forcing her to spend more time by the computer

Image credits: UjuAnya

Image credits: UjuAnya

Uju Anya provided more details on this. Before the email with the link to the Zoom detention, she got other ones saying that her daughter is not paying attention in class, doesn’t finish her assignments, plays computer games, or just signs off from Zoom. After several of these warnings, the student was given detention. This does seem serious, especially because this behavior is repeated, but the mother is defending her child, saying that we all are struggling, so what do we want from a 4th grader?

Although the 4th grader gets distracted quite often, the mom still thinks that virtual detention is ridiculous

Image credits: UjuAnya

Image credits: UjuAnya

She understands how the teacher must feel, putting their effort into making classes and teaching kids that don’t listen, but the mother still thinks that online detention is ridiculous. And it’s hard to disagree.

We are learning so much about human psychology during this pandemic and a new phenomenon that we are observing is Zoom fatigue, sometimes called virtual fatigue. It’s not an actual diagnosis, but it is very real and refers to the tiredness, worry, or burnout associated with overusing virtual platforms of communication. So punishing a child for not focusing during online school with more screen time doesn’t sound efficient or helpful.

Image credits: UjuAnya

This issue was also talked about on the talk show The View

Image credits: The View

This tweet got a lot of attention and is now liked more than 340k times. It also was discussed on the talk show The View. One of the hosts of the show, Sunny Hostin, really didn’t understand how virtual detention would improve the student’s ability to focus: “These kids are going through so much right now—it’s really hard for them to just be on the computer and paying attention all the time. I mean, what’s the point of giving more detention and more screen time?”

The opinions in the Twitter comments are more divided, but the majority of people still believe that these problems need a different approach. Most people commenting agreed that online detention doesn’t make sense and teachers should be more lenient during these trying times, while others were defending the teacher asking if it would be better if the student failed the class and saying that the teacher was just trying to make sure the student was keeping up with their studies.

People in the comments were mostly agreeing that the punishment wasn’t fair

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What is your view on this? Do you have children and how would you react if they got virtual detention? Maybe you’re a student and have already experienced this? Let’s start a discussion in the comments!