What Kind of Reaction Should Teachers Have if an Online Aggressor Appears in Their Class?


Online bullying is well known by social scientists. In Urbana-Champaign at the University of Illinois, scientists have raised an issue of how to cope with when online aggressors do not just sit on the other side of the computer but are your students in the classroom.

Professor of film studies, Jay Rosenstein, with the former university talisman, Chef Illiniwek, have bad memories about the studying time. Although Illiniwek has not been at the university for 10 years, the hostility between them persists. Rosenstein called in for questioning by campus police. One year ago for allegedly following an Illiniwek proponent into the toilet and filming him on camera, but the professor was not charged. Professor denies his participation in this incident.

One man began to pursue Rosenstein after that ridiculous situation with accusations of toilet filming. The pursuer began to write disgusting social media comments about the professor. This man said that Rosenstein should be put in jail and that the professor does not have the right to teach at the university.

A virtual offender came to Rosenstein’s lesson, after which the university lecturer went to the dean and asked the campus police to solve this problem. But he was told that, unfortunately, this situation can not be changed.

After a couple of months, Jay Rosenstein prepared a resolution that if a student was seen in a long online bullying or personal insult of the teacher, the relevant authorities could prevent him from visiting the subjects of this teacher. The only exception could be the fact that this student is at graduation class. His argument was the fact that if a person with dreadful intentions is present in a class, then this person disturbs the balance of learning of the whole class in general.

Some of his colleagues believe that this rule is too strict. Bruce Rosenstock believes that it is impossible to silence every bully. Misunderstandings in the classroom can happen quite often between professor and student, and this should be used as a weapon. Rosenstein’s resolution was considered by the Senate at a general meeting, where several amendments were made to it.

How to Recognize Mockery Coming from a Student

Many teachers liked Rosenstein’s idea. Francis declared that the classroom is sacred and compromise is unacceptable in such situations. But one member of the Senate is concerned that this resolution will violate the rights of students, while it should be the other way around – students should have the right to freedom of speech.

The next and no less important issue that was considered by scientists is how to recognize ‘trolling attacks’ because what someone might consider this as a ‘harsh political criticism’, another person would call ‘personal attack’, declared Nicholas Burbules. Also, the context of what is said depends on who said it.

According to Burbules, ‘it will be wrong to judge a student for what he said earlier’. The correct solution is to consider the actions of professors towards students in such situations. All professors have students who argue, but such disputes can lead to the fact that you can no longer teach at the university.

Burbules believes that many professors simply do not know how to behave in such situations. The most important goal of the professors is to find a common language with the student and avoid scandals.

Rosenstein said that the revision of his resolution does not match his original idea. He had a new solution to the problem, so he decided not to use social networks at all. The reason was that no one, not even your boss can help you with the online aggressor.