Y parents work to balance school and family

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    By CHRISTOPHER WALKER

    Every year the freshmen look younger and younger. Some who are seen wearing diapers are actually children of students at BYU.

    Many BYU students look around their classes and see that parents are bringing their children to classes.

    Jessica Brown, 22, a senior from Easton, Md., majoring in history education brings her daughter, Amanda, to class, but avoids it as much as possible.

    “Last semester we took her to school, but only to religion classes,” she said.

    She said that she did not want to disrupt her classes.

    Brown said the main reason they took Amanda to classes was to save money on a baby sitter, which she said can be very expensive.

    She also said she enjoys when Amanda is with her.

    “I like her to be with me,” Jessica said.

    She said the students and professors in her classes did not seem to care.

    “Most everyone thought it was fine,” Jessica said. “If there was a problem I’d just take her out of the class.”

    Her husband, Hugh Brown, 23, a senior from Kaysville, majoring in math, says he doesn’t think that most of his professors would approve of him bringing his daughter to classes.

    “My baby wouldn’t be accepted — it wouldn’t have been approved of by my professors,” he said.

    Brown said Hugh’s upper-division teachers probably would not have allowed Amanda to go to his classes.

    Rebekah Kelly, 22, a senior from Blackfoot, Idaho, majoring in horticulture science, is getting ready to have her baby. She says that her husband, Aaron, is excited to take their new child to some of his classes.

    “He mentioned that he realized there would be times when he would need to take his child to class. He is willing to do that. I think he wants to and he’d enjoy taking our child to class,” she said.

    Kelly said she admires students who stay in school after they have children. “It’s so easy to drop out after you have children,” she said.

    She said that she thinks other students do not mind when infants are brought to class.

    “I think it’s more accepted at BYU than any other campus. The professors are very considerate too,” Kelly said.

    Frank W. Fox, a professor of history at BYU, said he has never really had a problem with children in his classes.

    “I think it has been surprisingly non-disruptive. In a large class it could be a large problem, but it’s not,” he said.

    Fox said he is glad that students do not let children run around like he has observed at church and some restaurants.

    “If it became a problem, I would stop the class and ask the student to leave with the child. I’d take care of the problem right then,” he said.

    He said he thinks that only slightly more women than men bring children to classes.

    “I believe that most of the children that are brought to classes are younger; there does not seem to be a lot of older children,” Kelly said.

    John Hardy, 22, a sophomore from Alberta, Canada, majoring in exercise physiology, said he thinks it distracts from the students’ grades when they bring children to their classes.

    “I haven’t seen that many in my classes, but my experience has been that the student is sensitive to the class and takes the child out if there is a problem,” he said.

    Even though he is single, Hardy said he does not want to bring his future children to class.

    “I’d only bring them to class if I couldn’t avoid it. I definitely wouldn’t volunteer to take them to class.

    Jessica said she thinks she gets noticed a lot more when she does bring her child to class.

    “Most of the other students seemed to think that it was fine. If Amanda was extra loud, I’d take her out. I think the other students would have let me know if it wasn’t okay,” she said.

    Kelly said most of the parents who bring children to her classes sit in the back or near the doors in case there are any problems.

    “Most of my professors didn’t care when children were brought to class. The other students didn’t seem to mind either. If they did mind, they didn’t show it,” she said.

    Brown said she thinks some professors do mind when children are brought to class.

    “It depends on the major,” she said.

    She said one day she came to pick up Amanda from her husband, and his professor saw him with the baby. “The professor asked him, `You’re not going to bring that thing in here are you?'”

    Hugh said he thinks it is more accepted by religion and general education professors to have children in class.

    Both of the Browns said they do not think that having a child in class significantly affects their grade.

    “Jessica wasn’t always able to concentrate on what the professor was saying because of Amanda,” Hugh said.

    “Of course it’s going to be harder to have to concentrate on both the class and the child, but I think the grade the student gets depends on the desire of the student,” Kelly said.

    She said she thinks that being taken to class will not adversely affect the child.

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