I don’t spend a ton of time on the forum, but as a coach, teacher, and EP my first response to this is that this issue of appropriate and effective communication comes down to teachable moments. Although they may seem obvious, sadly, the issues we’re discussing are too rarely taught.
I’m not sure what the solution is. I hate the term of “self-policing”. But I think part of the answer is that rational objective minds need to start providing constructive feedback more often. But I think to be effective, it needs to narrowly focused on the behavior (tone, intent, etc.), and not get distracted into supporting or counter arguing a particular point.
If these things were to happen in a real life setting with people sitting around a circle face to face, there would be a ton of social cues when lines are crossed. We need to try to recreate some of those cues in our digital environment.
At the end of the day, we are all involved in VEX because it is an fun educational learning experience. We talk all the time about the 21st century/ soft skills/ life skills/ etc. that we all learn from robotics. We need to keep in mind that that extends into our online environments and experiences as well.
All behavior problems are teachable moments. How we respond will term what it is we are teaching.