Poyen Teacher Breastfeeds Baby in Classroom, Some Students Say It's Distracting

POYEN, AR -- Poyen is a rural Arkansas town with a population around 290. Folks living in the area call it a quiet place, but inside one classroom at the high school, some say it's anything but quiet.

One student, who we will call "Sally" because she didn't want to be identified, says there's something distracting going on inside the classroom. The distraction? A baby. Students say the teacher has been bringing her infant to class -- on and off -- for a couple of weeks, after returning from maternity leave.

"Sally" says you can constantly hear the baby crying and it's disruptive to the class. She also said the teacher feeds the infant in the back of the classroom, with students in the room. 

She said, "It's a distraction, especially since we have a bunch of teenage boys in there."

Over the phone, the superintendent says he allows teachers to bring their children to school in emergency situations, but called this a personnel matter, declining to talk about it further.

And some teens in the teacher's class agree with the idea of bringing baby to school, saying it's no big deal. 

Tyler Rhodes said, "The baby just lays back there and plays with its toys, every now and then it may cry, but she goes back there and takes care of it."

Chase Rhodes added, "I mean it's a cute baby and I don't think it's a distraction at all." 

While the superintendent did decline an on camera interview, he did say parents or students, who have concerns, can talk to him.

We did call a couple of our local school districts, to find out if this is a policy in other classrooms. The PCSSD spokeswoman said they do not allow teachers to bring their babies into classrooms.

The Little Rock School District spokeswoman says they do not have a certain policy in place, but she said it's expected that teachers would not bring their children to school.

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