Scholarship News

Teaching Assistant Arrested for Dramatic Delivery of Course Evaluations


December 11, 2009
by Scholarships.com Staff
Everyone knows not to say fire in a crowded theater or bomb on an airplane.  But what about saying bomb in a classroom?  As a graduate teaching assistant at University of California-Davis learned last week, that might not be such a good idea either.

Everyone knows not to say "fire" in a crowded theater or "bomb" on an airplane. But what about saying "bomb" in a classroom? As a graduate teaching assistant at University of California-Davis learned last week, that might not be such a good idea either.

ADVERTISEMENT

James Marchbanks, the teaching assistant in question, was arrested last week for making a terrorist threat, false imprisonment, and making a false bomb threat. Why? The graduate student referred to the course evaluations he was distributing to his introductory drama class as a bomb.

According to The Sacramento Bee, Marchbanks reportedly walked into class on the last day with his backpack on one shoulder and told the class, "I have a bomb, this is the last time I am ever going to see you. I am going to leave class before the bomb goes off but you are all going to stay here until it's done," then tossed a packet of course evaluations and pencils on the desk at the front of the class and ran out

The move was widely interpreted as a dramatic and lighthearted delivery of evaluation forms that he felt could potentially destroy his career. In fact, 13 students signed a letter to this effect. Unorthodox teaching methods, relaxed and informal attitudes, and extreme nervousness about their effectiveness as teachers are all pretty standard for graduate students, especially in the arts and humanities, so for many students in Marchbanks' Drama 10 class, his delivery of course evaluations probably seemed on the quirky end of ordinary.

However, a few students took his remarks seriously and decided to file a complaint, even when it became clear that he was alluding to the destructive power of negative evaluations, and not to a homemade explosive device. Campus police obtained a warrant for his arrest and a judge set bail at $150,000, a figure substantially higher than the Sacramento Bee calculated the charges should carry, and a price certainly well out of the reach of what a student receiving a graduate fellowship or assistantship could afford. It was eventually decided that there was insufficient evidence to charge him with a crime and he was released, but only after he had spent four days in jail.

While few people are likely to argue that Marchbanks deserved jail time for his comments, it does raise questions about what's appropriate to say in a classroom. With multiple incidents of on-campus violence, including a graduate student's recent murder of a professor at the State University of New York-Binghamton, appearing in the media, many already stressed-out students may be more on edge than normal right now. Did students overreact?  Do graduate students need to be more aware of their actions in the classroom as new teachers?  What do you think?

Get instantly matched to scholarships that meet your skillset, strengths and unique talents. Our search algorithms match you to scholarships that fit your profile. Access a complete list of college scholarships now by conducting a free college scholarship search at Scholarships.com.

ADVERTISEMENT

Discuss

Share your thoughts and perhaps thousands of students will benefit from your unique insight on the subject!



If you can read this, don't touch the following fields


 
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
College is just around the corner, but you still have plenty of time to win scholarships for high school seniors. Now is the best time to start applying because it is your last chance to qualify for awards available only to high school students. Scholarships are one of the best ways to pay for college because you don’t have to pay them back.

Top Scholarships for High School Seniors Graduating 2023

August 17, 2022
by Ashley Eneriz
College is just around the corner, but you still have plenty of time to win scholarships for high school seniors. Now is the best time to start applying because it is your last chance to qualify for
College is a big commitment and burnout is easy if you don’t pace yourself. That said, taking a semester off is a normal thing to do while pursuing your degree. Whether you need a quick break for personal reasons or exciting opportunities, like a once-in-a-lifetime trip or work experience, here’s what you need to know about your scholarship money before taking time off.

Will Taking a Semester Off Hurt My Scholarship Money?

August 5, 2022
by Ashley Eneriz
College is a big commitment and burnout is easy if you don’t pace yourself. That said, taking a semester off is a normal thing to do while pursuing your degree. Whether you need a quick break for
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid — more commonly known as FAFSA is the key to funding your college education. Not only can the FAFSA connect you to grants, scholarships, and work-study opportunities, but filling out the form is 
also the first step to applying for federal student loans. Even though filling out the FAFSA is simple and straightforward, several misconceptions still fly around it. Here are the top FAFSA myths you need to stop believing.

FAFSA Myths You Need to Stop Falling For

July 26, 2022
by Ashley Eneriz
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid — more commonly known as FAFSA is the key to funding your college education. Not only can the FAFSA connect you to grants, scholarships, and work-study
The new semester is just around the corner, which means it is time to start thinking about how you are going to afford the new school session. Student loans can be taken out any time of the year and are useful for paying for textbooks, special classes or summer terms and additional living expenses. Choosing the right student loan can help you reach your education and career goals while still keeping your finances balanced. Here’s what to look for before you take out a student loan this summer.

Which Student Loan Is Best for Me?

June 13, 2022
by Ashley Eneriz
The new semester is just around the corner, which means it is time to start thinking about how you are going to afford the new school session. Student loans can be taken out any time of the year and
As we celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we reflect on the enormous contributions of Asian Americans and share their culturally rich history. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders make up the fastest-growing racial group in the United States, with more than 23 million it total. However, API individuals, communities, and businesses have been disproportionately impacted by discrimination and criminal acts that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic in recent years. Now more than ever, we need to stand united as Americans against anti-Asian racism.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2022 Scholarships

May 25, 2022
by Liz Montenegro
As we celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we reflect on the enormous contributions of Asian Americans and share their culturally rich history. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders make
The   Voyager Scholarship was implemented by the Obamas in partnership with Brian Chesky, Co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, who donated $100 million to this program. The mission of this scholarship is to help students pursue careers in public service and solve some of our world’s greatest challenges. The Voyager Scholarship provides students access to education and travel opportunities to help expand their horizons and bring about significant change. During this scholarship’s first year, and it is estimated that 100 college juniors will receive up to $50,000 to cover tution and educational expenses, plus up to $30,000 in international travel stipends and credits. Recipients have the option to renew as seniors.

The Obama-Chesky Voyager Scholarship for Public Service

May 18, 2022
by Liz Montenegro
The Voyager Scholarship was implemented by the Obamas in partnership with Brian Chesky, Co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, who donated $100 million to this program. The mission of this scholarship is to
Summer is a great time to experience new things outside of the hectic school year routine. For students who want to beef up their resume, make some money, and have a little fun along the way, working a summer job is a great option! A part-time job gives you the unique opportunity to gain real-world experience and begin forging your own career path. You’ll also get the chance to become a better communicator by working with a wide range of customers and co-workers from all walks of life. Explore which types of work environments you might enjoy with these top 4 summer jobs (and related scholarships)!

Top 4 Summer Jobs For High School Students

May 13, 2022
by Liz Montenegro
Summer is a great time to experience new things outside of the hectic school year routine. For students who want to beef up their resume, make some money, and have a little fun along the way, working
Applications are currently open for the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Corporation Foundation’s  Better Together STEM Scholarship! Ranging from $2,500 to $10,000, the program is available to students who are pursuing STEM-related careers at universities in California and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the U.S. Eligible applicants include graduating high school seniors, college students, veterans, nontraditional students, and adults returning to school and plan to enroll in a full-time undergraduate program at an accredited four-year college or university. Don’t delay, applications close on June 3, 2022 at 3:00 PM CT.

PG&E Better Together STEM Scholarship

May 11, 2022
by Liz Montenegro
Applications are currently open for the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Corporation Foundation’s Better Together STEM Scholarship! Ranging from $2,500 to $10,000, the program is available to students