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Classroom Confrontation Over Student’s Laptop Use Leads to Professor’s Arrest

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, according to The Spectator, the campus’s student newspaper. The professor, Frank J. Rybicki, who does not have tenure, is free on bail. Several students told The Spectator that Mr. Rybicki was an excellent teacher who should not be punished for enforcing a rule against visiting Web sites unrelated to a class in progress. The university said it was investigating the incident and ordered students in the class not to talk about it.

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