Mom receives failing grade after incident with her newborn: ‘Do not let her get away with that’

Dillon Thompson
In The Know

The mother of a newborn baby is sparking intense reactions online after sharing the reason she received a zero on her online college assignment.

The woman, posting on Redddit under the username u/branj33 shared her dilemma on the site’s AITA (Am I The A******) forum. In it, the mom explained how her crying child ultimately caused her to get a zero on a college assignment.

“I had to record a speech for an online course, and my newborn would not stop crying the entire time I tried filming the speech,” the Redditor explained.

The woman went on the explain that her significant other was at work and the assignment was due before she could get help with her baby. So, she came up with a simple solution: Hold the crying child while recording the 10-minute speech.

But that decision ultimately earned the mom a zero on the assignment, and caused a wave of backlash among Reddit users.

‘I apparently took advantage of having a newborn’

Several of the Redditor’s classmates, who were asked to review the video, said they believed she was “using” her baby as a way to draw sympathy and receive a better grade. That was a sentiment the woman’s instructor also seemingly shared.

“She isn’t giving me the option to re-do my speech,” she wrote. “Because I apparently ‘took advantage’ of having a newborn and tried to purposely use an advantage against my classmates to try and get a better grade.”

The mom added that she received a flat-out zero on her video, despite the body language feedback section of the assignment — the part her classmates had criticized — only counting for 20 percent of the overall grade.

“The comments didn’t necessarily bother me, it was more so how my professor reacted to my video,” the Redditor wrote.

‘Do not let her get away with that’

The mom later shared an update in her post, noting that she reached out to her university and complained. After that, her professor decided to let her redo the assignment — with the caveat that, no matter what, she would still lose all of the points for the “body language” portion of her video.

Even with that update, Reddit users shared overwhelming outrage in support of the mom. Many said she never should have been disadvantaged just for having a child.

“Your professor is in violation of her own rubric. Do not let her get away with that,” one commenter wrote.

“This is really upsetting. Everyone should be very lenient during pandemic times, and I think shaming a NEW MOTHER for holding her baby is discriminatory,” another wrote.

Others were slightly less sympathetic though, suggesting that the mom likely had more time to finish her assignment and didn’t need to record it during the exact moment her baby was crying. Still, they disagreed with the professor’s initial reaction.

“Tbh even if [you] procrastinated and had to hold her infant in the video because of it, giving her a zero is unacceptable,” one user commented. “Taking 20 points off for body language is the most punishment that any reasonable person would give her.”

The mom later addressed those criticisms in an update to her post, writing that her significant other works 12-hour days and did not have an off day between the date the video was assigned and when it was due. She also added that her situation was only worsened by the global health crisis.

“There were also a few people making comments about how I put myself in this situation by having a baby during this time,” the mom wrote. “I can guarantee you that I did NOT expect to have a baby in the middle of a pandemic.”

If you liked this story, check out In The Know’s article on the Reddit user who was widely ridiculed over their child’s nickname.

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