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A college professor in Georgia is going viral for holding the baby of a student who couldn’t find a caretaker for his child during class time.
Dr. Nathan Alexander of Morehouse College in Atlanta, reportedly said, “I’ll hold her so you can take good notes!” to a student who showed up to class with his baby.
Student came to class today with his child due to no babysitter or anybody to watch her while he was in class.— TheOriginal™ (@Original_Vaughn) March 1, 2019
My professor NATHAN ALEXANDER said “I’ll hold her so you can take good notes!” #HBCU #morehouse #Respect pic.twitter.com/oogIqetseS
The student, since identified as Wayne Hayer, had to bring his daughter Assata to class on Friday because he couldn’t find a caretaker for her.
According to a follow-up post by his wife Firda Amalia Hayer, Wayne works two jobs and is also a full-time student. According to his Facebook, he studies Kinesiology and Physical Education at Morehouse College, an all-male historically Black college.
Alexander, a mathematics professor, reportedly held Assata for nearly an hour during class, and for several minutes after as he answered questions from students, according to BuzzFeed.
He told BuzzFeed he was nervous about taking care of Assata. “I was worried that she would start crying,” he said. “But it actually went perfectly. She was extremely well-behaved.”
He reportedly told Hayer a few weeks ago that he could bring his daughter in whenever he needed to.
In her post on Facebook, Firda Amalia shared their struggles while thanking Alexander for his compassion.
“Anyone who is and has been a new mommy understands how overwhelming it can get,” she wrote. “Thank you for encouraging us to continue to push forward. Thank you to black educators like Dr. Nathan Alexander for your compassion and understanding. This came at the right time.”
Parenting while being a student can have its share of struggles, and the incident resonated with many:
“I don’t know y’all but I am a student who is a pregnant mommy and I know how challenging it can be having a newborn,” wrote one user on Hayer’s Facebook post. “You all have a beautiful family and in the midst of my up and down emotions this really brought tears to my eyes.”
Twitter users shared their own stories of parenting while still in school, too.
I had to lecture w my infant son strapped to my chest more often than I would have cared for (he was a sick little bugger) and he was DELIGHTFUL. Until I stopped talking 😳— Kat Fitzpatrick (@KatFitzpatrick) March 2, 2019
One of my citizenship students brought her kids with her to class last week. They were so well behaved and I made them space on the whiteboard in the back of the room and gave them markers and they were happy as can be. I’ve been there. Most parents have. Let’s lift each other up— Hilary (@hschar629) March 2, 2019
I took my kids to class to me. At the end of the semester they got awards for being the best students. Lol— Maci Lynne's Auntie (@Senterstage) March 1, 2019
Respect! My wife @Christine6826 had our 3rd child while we were in our Master's program. We would bring all three of them to class. Class rubbed off on them b/c now we have 3 very successful, college graduates! You're def giving your baby a huge academic head start #DopeDad— Dr. Chuck Herring (@SF_K5Enrichment) March 2, 2019
Even director Ava DuVernay weighted in.
Samira Sadeque is a New York-based journalist reporting on immigration, sexual violence, and mental health, and will sometimes write about memes and dinosaurs too. Her work also appears in Reuters, NPR, and NBC among other publications. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School, and her work has been nominated for SAJA awards. Follow: @Samideque