Worried teachers have had to remind parents about the perils of appearing in the background of their children's Zoom lessons while they are being educated at home.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic kids in Florida, like schoolchildren around the world, have been having lessons via Zoom rather than going into school.
It’s a sensible and largely successful alternative to risking the spread of coronavirus, but it’s had the unexpected aside-effect of giving teachers and unexpected window on their pupils’ home lives.
Ashley Foret Smith, a mother of three from Jacksonville, Florida, made headlines when she accidentally gave her daughter’s entire class an eyeful on Zoom. She had come out of the shower naked, forgetting that her child’s laptop was broadcasting her impromptu strip show to a visual classroom full of seven-year-olds.
And at a school board meeting this week, frustrated educators have urged parents to stop smoking weed, cover up their ankle tags, and maybe pop on some clothes as they wander through the background of their kids’ video lessons.
“Parents, please make sure that you have on proper clothing when you are walking behind your child’s computer because we’ve seen them in their drawers, their bras, and everything else,” Boca Raton Elementary school teacher Edith Pride said, according to local news channel KATV.
Ms Pride added: “Parents, when you are helping your children at their computer please do not appear with big joints in your hands and cigarettes…”
“Those joints be as big as cigars. Oh yeah, we’ve seen it all.”
Another teacher told the station: “I had a father, no shirt drinking a beer at 11:45 in the morning,” adding “I did have a parent who sat on the couch and we could see an ankle monitor on her leg.”
The teachers pointed out that the other kids in the class can also get glimpses into these parents’ hard-partying home lives.
Because of the remote learning technology, students “see other things that they’ve probably never seen before,” explained another teacher, “so I know that is a challenge.”
A spokesman for the school district reminded parents that all classes are recorded but declined to comment further.