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Teacher A Viral Hit In Argentina After Holding Student's Baby During Class

A high school history teacher has won hearts and minds after carrying a young mother's baby in class so she could do her work.

Teacher A Viral Hit In Argentina After Holding Student's Baby During Class

Federico Tenreyro went viral for taking care of his student's baby

Rocío Magnani

BRANDSEN, ARGENTINA — It was a small act of kindness: A schoolteacher in the Coronel Brandsen district outside of Buenos Aires held a baby in class so her teenage mother could study in peace. Federico Tenreyro said he offered to hold the infant while teaching in order to help dissuade his pupil, Ludmila Disante, from any thought of dropping out of school to raise a child.


Tenreyro didn't just hold the baby, Pilar, but also sang and cradled her to sleep, allowing Disante to write about her political economy course work. It evidently meant the world to her; Disante published a Facebook post about it, making her teacher an instant celebrity.

The teacher said the attention and calls from reporters has left him "surprised and emotional," tellingClarín: "I keep a low profile and initially I was a little frightened by so many calls, but I'd like the viral incident to encourage students to finish [secondary] school."

Tenreyro is also no stranger to caring for infants, as he has five children of his own.

70,000 teenage moms in Argentina

Besides teaching history at Brandsen's private Santa Rita de Cascia high school, Tenreyro is also a volunteer firefighter on weekends.

To her Facebook friends, Disante had written, "all schools should have teachers like this, so girls who are moms and want to finish school can do it. Really, I don't know what to say to thank this teacher."

The Argentine Health Ministry estimates some 70,000 teenagers give birth each year, in 70% of cases unplanned, which often leads the young mothers to interrupting their education.

Tenreyro is not the first teacher to go viral for a similar thoughtful act for a young mother-student, though the others were at university level with math professor in Atlanta, Georgia and a professor of geomatics in Senegal.

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Coronavirus

Chinese Students' "Absurd" Protest Against COVID Lockdowns: Public Crawling

While street demonstrations have spread in China to protest the strict Zero-COVID regulations, some Chinese university students have taken up public acts of crawling to show what extended harsh lockdowns are doing to their mental state.

​Screenshot of a video showing Chinese students crawling on a soccer pitch

Screenshot of a video showing Chinese students crawling

Shuyue Chen

Since last Friday, the world has watched a wave of street protests have taken place across China as frustration against extended lockdowns reached a boiling point. But even before protesters took to the streets, Chinese university students had begun a public demonstration that challenges and shames the state's zero-COVID rules in a different way: public displays of crawling, as a kind of absurdist expression of their repressed anger under three years of strict pandemic control.

Xin’s heart was beating fast as her knees reached the ground. It was her first time joining the strange scene at the university sports field, so she put on her hat and face mask to cover her identity.

Kneeling down, with her forearms supporting her body from the ground, Xin started crawling with three other girls as a group, within a larger demonstration of other small groups. As they crawled on, she felt the sense of fear and embarrassment start to disappear. It was replaced by a liberating sense of joy, which had been absent in her life as a university student in lockdown for so long.

Yes, crawling in public has become a popular activity among Chinese university students recently. There have been posters and videos of "volunteer crawling" across universities in China. At first, it was for the sake of "fun." Xin, like many who participated, thought it was a "cult-like ritual" in the beginning, but she changed her mind. "You don't care about anything when crawling, not thinking about the reason why, what the consequences are. You just enjoy it."

The reality out there for Chinese university students has been grim. For Xin, her university started daily COVID-19 testing in November, and deliveries, including food, are banned. Apart from the school gate, all exits have been padlock sealed.

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