‘It was only a matter of time’ Boxlight boards claim another victim

Alexander Lewton

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Photo by Alexander Lewton

A Boxlight board stands menacingly in a classroom, awaiting its next victim. Since being installed in many classrooms around the school school this winter, their long, obtrusive legs have provided an unwelcome challenge for teachers trying to focus on their lesson plans.

Beloved social studies teacher Frederick Delello announced on Friday that he will be out from school for 4-6 weeks after suffering a torn ACL tripping over a Boxlight board during class on Thursday. In a statement posted on his MYMCPS Classroom page, Delello explained that he would be unable to teach in person “for the foreseeable future” following the unfortunate incident.

The injury occurred Thursday afternoon, while Delello was deep in conjecture about consumer law. Making a particularly expressive point about the numerous benefits of extended warranties while walking in front of the Boxlight Board, his foot became caught in the leg of the board, causing him to fall to the floor at an awkward angle and injure his left leg.

“It was a really shocking thing to see happen in the middle of class, I really hope that he’s OK,” junior Francesca Grimaldi said. “Though, on another level perhaps it’s not so surprising. I feel like these new boards have been out to get all of my teachers lately, so it was only a matter of time something like this happened.”

Since their recent installation, many teachers have developed a love-hate relationship with the Boxlight boards. While they have a brighter, higher quality screen than traditional Promethean boards, their bulky frame grants them many of the same qualities of a cat lazily stretched out in the middle of a narrow hallway; you can’t move them, obviously, but a single step might prove disastrous.

Delello’s injury is just the latest tally of a long number of teacher incidents regarding the new boards, which includes stubbed toes, sprained ankles, and the general emotional burden that comes with navigating a new piece of digital technology.

“The other day I hit my ankle really hard on a [Boxlight] wheel while trying to write out a problem. In terms of pain, it was in between stepping on a Lego brick and getting your finger caught in a closing door,” math teacher Rachel Zussman said.

As the news spread about the incident, thoughtful messages and well wishes poured in from students and staff for the injured teacher. Even though they are at the least risk for hurting themselves on a Boxlight board, also known as “boardplanting”, many students felt a great deal of sympathy for the Delello’s plight.

“One of my teachers asked me to go up to the board and write something, and it was an incredibly nerve wracking experience. I never thought that learning about flowers would be so scary, but there I was,” junior Prakriti Tiwari said.

In the meantime, Delello remains in good spirits, and plans to spend the remaining period of time he is out of school writing intentionally bewildering sub plans in order to confuse social studies teacher Elizabeth Muehl, who will be filling in for the duration of his absence.