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UH professor shows kindness to student parent

HOUSTON – A professor at the University of Houston-Clear Lake taught a life lesson in his classroom when he showed some compassion for a student in a difficult situation.

On Thursday, Carletta Davis, who is in Professor William Hoston’s political science class, couldn’t find a babysitter for her 3-month-old granddaughter, Avi-anah.  She decided to email professor Hoston, asking if she could bring the baby to class.  “I mean, I don’t want to miss class,” Davis said.

The 40-year-old returned to school last spring to study social work.

Professor Hoston emailed Davis back saying he didn’t have a problem with her bringing Avi-anah to class.  “I've taught at a number of non-traditional schools, and sometimes really it’s par for the course that if the baby doesn’t come, the parent doesn’t come and the parent doesn’t graduate,” Hoston said.

He even incorporated little Avi-anah into the lesson that day, regarding children and guns in America.  One student snapped a picture of the professor picking up the baby.   “What better prop than to pick this child up and say: ‘You know what? This is the future of our country, and what would happen if a handgun was in this baby's hand at such a young age?’” Hoston said.

He says it’s important for students to attend every class and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen.  “I think all professors should foster an environment where students are able to bring their children, if it’s not going to disrupt the class, rather help those students matriculate through college,” Hoston said.

Davis is beyond grateful for her professor, who decided to take a chance to create a better future for her and her grandchild.  “I'm determined,” Davis said.  “I want to get my degree and I want to be a successful student.”