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Professor Shuts Student's Laptop in Class, Gets Arrested for Assault

bandaid on fingerA professor at Georgia's Valdosta State University was arrested on assault charges last week, after shutting a laptop on a student's hand.

Frank J. Rybicki, an assistant professor of media studies, reportedly became angry with a female student who seemed to be surfing the Web on her laptop rather than paying attention to class. Frustrated, he shut the laptop and dismissed the student, who immediately began arguing with him.

Shutting someone's computer certainly isn't the worst thing a college professor has done to a laptop, but the student didn't let Rybicki get away with it. Following the incident, the 22-year-old woman went to campus police, alleging that the professor had hurt her fingers when shutting the computer. The professor was later arrested, and has been suspended from the school.

Many of Valdosta's students, however, are squarely in Rybicki's corner. "He cares about his students and our grades, always making sure we do our best," said Samuel Logan, a student who wasn't in the class but has taken courses with the professor.

But university spokesperson Thressea H. Boyd insisted that Valdosta is taking every possible precaution. "The university is investigating an incident involving a faculty member and this matter will be processed through the appropriate legal channels," she wrote in a statement. "In terms of class instruction, modifications have been made. All employees are expected to perform their obligations and responsibilities in a professional manner."

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