UT professor invites student's baby to class

She said she had her son while she was in school and her professor let her bring him to class with her.

KNOXVILLE, TENN. - A UT-Knoxville professor is getting worldwide attention for her understanding of parenthood.

One of Dr. Sally Hunter's students, Morgan King, told her she had missed class due to her lack of child care for her daughter in early June.

Hunter emailed her student explaining that if she was ever in that spot again, she could bring her daughter with her and Hunter would even hold the baby while teaching the class.

The email said: "In the future, if you are having trouble finding someone to watch [your child], 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 was unwilling to have a child visit our class? I'm very serious with this offer."

A photo of the email spread quickly on social media.

"I had no idea that that email was so public," Hunter said, "I'm shocked that the reaction has been so big because I, like I said, I feel like it was a really normal thing to do."

Hunter said she thinks a lot of people in her department would have made that same offer. 

She explained it was a part of the culture of the Child and Family Studies Department, and she was paying it forward.

"We all need people around us, people supporting us, nobody can do this journey by themselves," Hunter said. 

Hunter said she gave birth to her first child while she was in graduate school and her professor let her bring him to class with her.

"So I had Isaac, my oldest son, 10 years ago. It was March and I didn't finish the semester until May. It was my last semester of graduate coursework to get the PHD. My professor Dr. Blanton said 'Why don't you just bring him with you to class,'" Hunter said.

She said her department understands that students have lives outside of school and sometimes things like child care fall through.

"Child care falls through sometimes, and it does for me as well, and I bring my kids to work," Hunter said.

Hunter has received national attention for her good deed and understanding.

EDITORS NOTE: The student in this story admitted sharing a misleading tweet about her child care options that day. She apologized to WBIR for taking the focus off of what was a generous offer by her professor.

© 2017 WBIR.COM


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