Professor Goes Viral For Comforting Student’s Crying Baby During Class

College professor Dr. Samuel Reed held his student's 2-month-old baby during class so that she could continue taking notes and focus on the lesson.

By Erika Hanson | Published

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There may not be anything as touching as a determined mother. But coming in a close second would surely be the men who recognize how hard these women work. Every year, millions of young mothers strive to better their lives for not only themselves, but their children, and now, a college professor is going viral for his small act of kindness towards a new mom in the classroom.

Dr. Samuel Reed was disrupted during his math class lecture at Lander University last week, but not by unruly students. It was the cries of a student’s child that impeded the professor’s lessons. Instead of asking the young mother to leave with her baby, he stepped in to comfort the child so that his student could continue her work.

Enjoying the compassionate incident, the Greenwood, South Carolina college shared the story on its official site for all to read. It all began with college student Peterra Richburg. The college senior, who is majoring in elementary education was stuck in a predicament and given no choice but to bring her 2-month-old daughter into class with the hopes that the professor would allow it.

Richburg’s childcare fell through at the last minute. While some in that situation would simply skip class, the young mom feared it might affect her grades and upcoming graduation. So she made the decision to bring her newborn into class with her, although she had no idea how her professor would react.

Not having enough time to alert Dr. Reed beforehand, she showed up to class with the baby in tow. “I was so nervous about it,” Richburg said. But to her surprise, the professor and her classmates were all accepting.

At one point, Richburg’s daughter began to fuss and cry. Quickly responding and without hesitation, the college professor relieved the mom so she could continue to take class notes. With a newborn baby in one hand, Dr. Reed continued his lesson, to both the students’ delight and the baby’s, who apparently enjoyed the lecture as well considering it calmed her down.

The professor noted that before that day, he was completely unaware that his student was even a new mother. When asked about comforting the child, Reed responded, “I figured we could ignore her cries until Mom returned, or I could hold her and see if I could help. So, I picked her up and continued teaching.”

To him, it was the simple solution. Instead of getting angry at a possible distraction, the college professor only wanted to make sure his young student could continue to keep up with her schoolwork. Plus, Reed is all too familiar with the troubles of new parents, as he is the father of a 2-year-old himself.

After Richburg snapped a photo of her professor holding her new child, she shared it on social media, where it has gone viral. The incident may be Reed’s first experience holding a student’s baby, but others have gone viral for similar stories as well. In fact, Reed noted that another educator at Lander University went through something similar years ago. 

In 2016, Lander professor Dr. Josie Ryan received global attention for holding a student’s baby during class. At the beginning of the semester, one of Ryan’s students became a new mom. Not wanting her to have to miss out, the teacher welcomed her to bring in the new baby so she could continue school. 
Tender stories like those of these compassionate professors serve as a reminder that there are plenty of good teachers out there in this world. Today, young, new mothers feel the pressure more than ever to continue with their career aspirations, despite the need and expectation to care for little ones at home. Having stories like this reminds them that there is help found in unsuspected places.