Health class has four new students: plastic babies. Health teacher Kristi Bandy says they’re designed to teach students about what it’s like to be responsible for another person.
They were purchased with money raised at the annual Uni High Gala. Bandy requested money for buying the babies, and enough was donated to buy four.
Due to the limited number of babies, each freshman gets a baby for half a week. During that time, the baby must be kept with the student at all times. They are allowed a maximum of three hours per day when the baby can be with a “babysitter.”
At any time, the babies can start crying and require the student to press a button to quiet them. Bandy said that the crying feature was the primary reason that she switched to the babies, when previous years had used bags of flour. Having more realistic baby analogues should be better for learning.
Bandy said that the freshmen seem to bond less with the babies than last year’s class did with the flour bags. She speculated that it was because students could decorate and personalize the flour bags.
Freshmen had their own views about why they didn’t bond with the babies. Freshman Daniel Matatov, who has not yet gotten a baby, said the flour bags were better because they were more delicate than the babies. He said that “you can literally throw the babies,” and Freshman Eric Roth reported that he had seen someone do that. The babies can also go off during classes.
Freshman Blessing Omoniyi said that his baby was “annoying” and “tired him out,” but was more accurate than a flour baby would be. After all, actual babies do require work and are often tiring to deal with.
The babies’ purpose is to be a more accurate baby analogue, and they have mostly succeeded. Bandy has plans to get several more babies for next year’s class.