Parenting

Professor's Response to a Student Who Couldn't Find a Babysitter Is Going Viral

Twitter - Morgan King

Twenty-one-year-old single mom Morgan King was going to miss a class at the University of Tennessee because her childcare fell through. But when she emailed the professor to tell her why she wouldn’t be in attendance, she got a response that she was hardly expecting. Dr. Sally Hunter, who teaches in the Department of Child and Family Studies, told King how she could make up the missed assignment. But she went on to offer the single mom the option to bring her young child to class in the event that she has childcare issues again. Here’s what Hunter wrote in the email:

In the future, if you are having trouble finding someone to watch Korbyn, please feel free to just BRING HER with you to class. I would be absolutely delighted to hold her while I teach so that you can still pay attention to the class and take notes. I work for the Department of CHILD and FAMILY Studies — so how terrible would it be if I were unwilling to have a child visit our class?

[…]

Let me know if there are any other ways I could be supporting you.

In a time when mothers are shamed online for everything from breastfeeding to feeding their kids non-organic snacks, it is refreshing to see someone actually supporting a mother. Dr. Hunter’s kindness did not escape King.

“I just didn’t know what else to do,” King told WBIR-TV. “I emailed my professor after class and was apologizing for missing class that day.”

“I literally started crying because it’s just so rare, especially teachers in general nowadays,” King told WARE-TV. “The fact that somebody was willing to work with me and to excuse me from the quiz I missed and told me how to access the assignment, it just showed that she cared about more than the fact that I missed class that day.”

As women continue to try to find the (impossible?) balance between careers and parenting, ideally more institutions will be as accommodating as the professor from King’s class. Just last month an Australian politician made history by breastfeeding in Parliament. Hopefully, we’ll get to a time when such situations aren’t considered newsworthy.