Prof Arrested for Closing Student's Laptop

Web-surfing student complains of finger injury
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2011 5:34 AM CDT
The student told campus police her finger had been injured when Rybicki shut her laptop.   (ShutterstockT)

(Newser) – A professor who got fed up with a student surfing the Internet instead of taking notes has been arrested and suspended for closing her laptop. Frank Rybicki, a professor of mass media at Valdosta State University, was arrested for battery after the student complained that her finger had been hurt when he closed the computer. The professor tells Inside Higher Ed that the Georgia university has told him not to discuss the incident, although he stresses that he has never harmed a student.

Other students say the student who filed charges had been warned to stop looking at Facebook and other sites during lectures. They described Rybicki as an outstanding professor who cares deeply about his students and their grades. Rybicki "is one of the best teachers in the mass media system,” one student tells the VSU Spectator. “The school should stand behind him. It’s a disgrace that we’ll lose a great teacher that I don’t think we should lose.”

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