A furious mother has spoken out after her university banned her from bringing her newborn baby with her to lectures.
34-year-old Janine Adamson from Southampton, England, was overjoyed when she gave birth to a baby boy named Tommy back in January.
Determined not to lose any precious time with her baby while continuing her studies at Solent University, the mom asked the senior staff if she could bring her baby with her to class only to be in for an unexpected disappointment.
“Thank you for your patience regarding this matter, we have taken some time to reconsider your request to bring your baby to class,” university officials replied to Janine.
“Having spoken with the criminology team and taken advice within the university more widely including the Student Hub, I am afraid that our decision remains the same. It is not appropriate for students to bring a baby to class on a regular basis.”
Defying the ban, the mother-of-three has since revealed she refuses to jeopardize her bond with her son or give up on her education completely.
She has since returned to class together with her baby despite the risk that she could be kicked off her criminal investigation course for violating the university’s order.
“It’s more about our attachment than a financial decision. He’s my baby and I want him close. I didn’t want to jeopardize my son’s bond with me because I still wanted an education, I’m trying to balance it all,” Janine insists.
Explaining her current situation, she added: “I started college because my other children were older, then I found I was pregnant, but I wasn’t going to let that affect myself achieving what I set out to do.”
After going viral with her story and even documenting her return to the university in a series of TikTok videos, Janine responded to the officials saying her lecturers didn’t mind her bringing her baby to class.
She also insisted she would leave the class and tend to her baby should he start crying during lectures while pointing out that she, too, sometimes gets disturbed by much younger students who make noise or talk to each other during lectures.
“I’ve felt like the university wanted to kick me out but there is no policy in place, so I’ve carried going with Tommy regardless,” the mother added.
“I asked my lecturers if they had any issues and they said it was fine. One of them wanted to confirm with [other senior staff], and then I got an email telling me I can’t return with my baby.
“They said it wasn’t fair on other students. When my lecturer told me I just broke down in tears and thought everything I’ve worked hard for has gone to waste. They told me that other students defer for a year, but I’m not most students. I’ve already deferred my life.”
Janine raged on saying: “They kept telling me to focus on my recovery so I just stopped communicating with them and went. I’ve not asked the university to support me in any other way apart from me just getting on with it.
“I didn’t want anything from anyone, just to put my baby in a sling and carry on.”
After her story went viral, Solent University insisted they “permit babies and children on campus” whereas permission is granted on a case-by-case basis.
“The university is committed to supporting all students who are parents and permits babies and children on campus. However, the primary function and design of our campus is to provide teaching, learning and support for students,” a spokesperson said.
“Babies are currently permitted in class if the student has pre-arranged this and has an agreement from the course team. A risk assessment, that includes health and safety considerations and an understanding of any potential disruptions to learning, is part of the process.
“Babies being on campus is currently managed on a case-by-case basis following discussions between the student (with baby) and course team.”
They added: “Students are encouraged to consider suspension of studies if they have a baby during the academic year. This is in line with maternity policies within the workplace and recognizes the demands on new mothers and academic study.
“Should a student with a new-born not wish to suspend their studies, a discussion between them and the course team is necessary to establish how this will take place. This has always worked well in the past and we are looking to introduce a policy that will formalize our approach.”
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