Georgia professor helps student mom, cares for her baby

Jarquita Arrington brought her baby to class and got a hand from her professor.

ByABC News
January 22, 2018, 7:39 PM

— -- When Jarquita Arrington's 7-month-old baby started cooing recently in her graduate school class, she got help from an unlikely babysitter -- her business administration professor at Savannah State University.

Arrington, a mother of two juggling an M.B.A. program, had to bring her son, Panda, on her first day of school after her husband's meeting ran late, according to local ABC affiliate WJCL.

"I said, 'Oh my gosh! I can't miss class!'" Arrington said.

That's when she reached out to her professor, Dr. Rebecca Setliff, to ask if she could bring Panda to class.

Setliff, who is an adjunct professor, agreed. But when Panda started fussing in class, Setliff decided to lend a helping hand.

"She walked over to the baby and said: 'Well, let me see the baby. Let me see if I can quiet him back down again,'" Arrington recalled.

Setliff carried Panda for the rest of the lecture and discussion.

"I wanted to help her," Setliff said. "And I wanted her to be able to focus on staying in the class, on focus on the class discussion. Because my classes are heavy discussion."

Setliff said she understands life can get overwhelming for her students.

"We as faculty need to work with them, and remember that," Setliff said. "Just so they get to classes just like a job."

Arrington said she had several options for graduate school, but professors like Setliff are the reason why she goes to Savannah State.

"You're able to get that individualized attention as a student as opposed to maybe being a number because you're in a classroom with maybe 150 kids," she said.

As for Panda, he remained calm in Setliff's arms for the rest of the lecture and discussion.

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