Zoom Classroom Legal Implications & Discussion

A colleague sent me an interesting article he wrote called “Is Zoom a Classroom?‘ thatΒ  explores the legal ramifications of defaulting to Zoom classrooms in #TheseUncertainTimes. For example:

A student cleaned their gun on Zoom during class. If that happened to me, could I discipline the student? Even though they are in their own apartment? If I work for a state university, can I boot them off the screen without fear of raising a constitutional concern?

A professor accidentally left a tab open to his porn while sharing his screen (just the tab showing). He was fired. What if a student does that during a presentation? Are they subject to university regulations? Can I be fired for having a tab open to a museum website with Renaissance paintings? How about an NRA website? A Joe Biden or Donald Trump campaign website? Can a student be dismissed for doing the same thing?

A student puts on a shirt that says something racist. Can I turn off their video? If so, do I suffer First Amendment issues if I work for a state university?

The article contains 18 additional plausible situations educators should consider while using Zoom. I posted it to Twitter and a lively discussion ensued. Here is my best attempt to combine tweets from multiple threads of discussion in (mostly) chronological order:

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