PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – An elementary school principal from Portland found her story going viral after a social media post featuring the kindness of educators.
Earlier this year, when Principal Traniece Brown-Warrens at Markham Elementary School found out another child needed a champion in school, she stepped up to the plate and brought in her 8-month-old foster son.
His nickname is “Baby Bear” because he travels with his foster mom to Baylor University, home of the Baylor Bears in Waco, Texas.
In addition to her duties as a school principal and foster mom, Brown-Warrens is also a PhD student at Baylor. When she needed help balancing classes and parenting, her Professor Bobby Ott stepped in.
“She had come in with her little one and she said, ‘Look, I’ll just sit in the back here in the event that you know, he’s noisy,’ or something like that,” Ott said. “And of course, the students weren’t having that, and they said, ‘No come on, you come up here.’”
Brown-Warrens’ classmates took turns holding Baby Bear until he wound up in the arms of Professor Ott. A picture of him holding the baby while lecturing went viral.
“Quite honestly, it slipped my mind that I had him,” Ott said. “I was up at the front and teaching instead of giving him back right after the partner activity. I heard a couple giggles from some of the students, and I wasn’t sure what it was in turn and said, ‘Hey, what’s going on?’ They’re like, well, you’re still holding him.”
Professor Ott said Baby Bear is welcome back to class anytime, and she’s glad to know the baby and students at Markham Elementary are in good hands.
“I look at her and I see a leader that has so much raw and untapped potential…I think she’s gonna be an exciting one to watch.”