In a Palm Beach County school board meeting earlier this week, elementary school teacher Edith Pride implored parents to behave appropriately during their children’s remote school days, which are filmed and recorded.
In her three-minute speech, Pride asked parents to “have on proper clothing” and avoid “appearing with big joints” in the background of their children’s videoconferences during the school day.
Several other Palm Beach County school teachers reported similar incidents of alcohol consumption, partial nudity, or drug use in the background of virtual lessons.
Researchers have found that parents stressed out by new circumstances and remote learning amid the pandemic drink more and are more likely to report binge drinking than parents who were not stressed.
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As families adjust to virtual learning and remote schooldays amid the pandemic, one teacher is issuing a stern reminder to parents about their on-camera behavior.
In a videotaped school board meeting on Wednesday, Edith Pride, an elementary school teacher in Boca Raton, Florida, spoke up about incidents she’d witnessed while teaching via videoconferencing, CBS 12 News reported.
“Parents, please make sure that you have on proper clothing when you are walking in front of or behind the child’s computer,” Pride said. “‘Cause we’ve seen them in their drawers, their bras, and everything else.”
She also reminded parents that all students on a video call can hear parents’ discussions in the background of a lesson if the computer is unmuted — so many have been exposed to “cussing” and inappropriate language.
Pride’s final plea to parents even drew laughs from the audience.
“When you are helping your children at the computer, please do not appear with big joints in your hand and cigarettes,” she said.
Problems with parents’ on-camera behavior do not appear to be limited to Pride’s classes.
Several other teachers in the school district reported instances of alcohol consumption and drug use taking place on camera in students’ homes.
“We had a father, no shirt. Drinking a beer at about 11:45 in the morning,” one Palm Beach County teacher, who chose to remain anonymous, told CBS 12 News.”Parents are smoking, parents are smoking marijuana. I mean, I don’t really care if people do that, but you shouldn’t be in the screen doing that.”
“It’s just inappropriate. The children can see it in the squares,” Pride told Fox News of parents’ behavior, adding that she even saw parents produce “joints as big as cigars” in the background of their children’s remote lessons. “This is not a party. This is school.”
Palm Beach County schools will reopen doors to students on Monday, Newsweek reported, but parents can choose for their children to continue the virtual learning model.
The school district of Palm Beach County did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Experts say parents who are stressed by their children’s remote learning tend to drink more
In May of 2020 Johns Hopkins University professor Elysa Grossman and UMBC professor Susan Sonnenschein surveyed 361 parents with children under 18 years old about their stress levels and drinking habits amid the pandemic.
Ultimately, they found that parents who are stressed out by their added responsibilities of helping children with distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic drink seven more drinks per month than parents who do not report feeling anxiety from distance learning.
Stressed parents were also twice as likely to report binge drinking at least once over the prior month than parents who are not stressed, according to the survey results.
“Given that distance learning is going to continue for the near future, we believe it is warranted to decrease stressors that lead to parents’ drinking,” Grossman and Sonnenschein wrote in an article summarizing their research in The Conversation.
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