At first, I thought maybe it was a late April Fool’s joke. But the more I scrolled, I realized it was no laughing matter. Zoom detention isn’t a joke. It’s a thing. It’s really happening in children’s bedrooms and at kitchen tables right now. And parents are tweeting about it. Zoom Kids are getting sent to digital detention for not paying attention and missing classes—among other offenses. I can’t help but wonder, how does this work? And is it really necessary? Haven’t we all been through enough this school year? Honestly, I’m not having it, and Twitter isn’t either.
Can schools require families to enforce rules in their homes?
Here’s a scenario for you. A school district in Springfield, Ill. updates its school handbook with guidelines for remote learning. One rule is students can’t wear pajamas to virtual classes or sit in bed. The schools are enforcing dress code. But the problem is that students aren’t at school. They’re at home. Many families don’t think the school has a right to tell them what rules their kids have to follow in their own house. So a parent might not care if their kid wears pajamas during Zoom class, but the school does. And the kid gets a Zoom detention. This puts the parent in a tricky spot. They have to be the pajama police. They don’t agree with it, but now they have to enforce it? The lines are so blurred here. This is not a typical school year. We can’t have school rules and discipline as if it is.
Here’s the link to serve Zoom detention
You can only imagine what Ugu Anya, a teacher, had to say when she got an email with a link to Zoom detention for her kid. Her nine-year-old —like so many other kids across the country—is distracted, playing computer games, ignoring the teacher, or just signing off Zoom. Her child is having the same struggles that all of us are having: keeping it together during a pandemic. I’m pretty sure that Zoom detention isn’t going to help kids eliminate distractions, stop playing computer games, pay attention to their teacher, or stay in their Zoom class. If anything, it’s just going to things worse. And no one at school will be there to deal with it, Ugu Anya will. Not to mention, how is she going to make sure her kid goes to Zoom detention when she’s trying to teach her own classes?
My child is struggling to keep it together during this pandemic like all of us. I chose remote learning to keep her safe, and I understand doing 4th grade on Zoom is difficult. It's also hard for teacher who manages both kids in class and online. But Zoom detention is ridiculous.
— Uju Anya (@UjuAnya) April 6, 2021
The solution for Zoom fatigue is more Zoom fatigue?
Within minutes of posting her Tweet, the comments poured in. Twitter wasn’t having it.
Let me get this straight. The “solution” to a child struggling with zoom fatigue is to give them more zoom? I mean. Come on.
— Meredith Pruden (@MeredithPruden) April 6, 2021
Good point. Punishing Zoom fatigue with more Zoom fatigue. That’s effective!
There’s got to be a better way…
Ridiculous! I think detention is BS in general but especially right now. This year could have been a perfect time for the school system to reflect on innovative approaches to education (and discipline) but instead chose to make it harder and weirder than ever.
— Ana Maria (@LosFranich) April 6, 2021
Repeat after me. This. Is. Not. A. Normal. School. Year.
How about we give kids a break?
That's utterly ridiculous. SHE'S 9! I mean, isn't everyone just doing the best they can to get by? Punishing a child because she has trouble concentrating while staring at a computer screen for hours a day? How about giving her a break, like a literal break.
— Megs 🇨🇦 (@meghan_why) April 6, 2021
Maybe we should replace Zoom detention with some good old-fashioned playing outside?
First, it was too much screen time. Now it’s more screen time?
My 11 year old is going through the same issues. I find it ironic that the people who always told us to limit screen time now expect children of all ages to stare at one for 8 hours a day.
I decided I'm not taking this year seriously at all. I just don't care.
— THICC PERCHINA (@READLENINPLZ) April 6, 2021
Yeah. So this makes sense…
Zoom detention or you’re grounded?
Like “You’re grounded, please report to break out room 4”? How does that even work?
— J (@thatgirl405) April 6, 2021
Sigh. There’s so much wrong with this.
What are your thoughts on Zoom detention? Come, share, and laugh with us in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.
Also, be sure to check out The Craziest School Rules For Teachers That Actually Exist.