I was asked not to breastfeed in a public school - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-08-2010, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The short version is that I was asked not to breastfeed in the lobby of an elementary school. I have been told that from now on I will have to wait in a private location because I breastfeed. Here's the long version: http://hcsdbreastfeed.blogspot.com/

I don't feel what happened to me is acceptable; however, most people I talk to don't think it sounds like I will win this. I'm hoping that bringing more attention to the incident will help. Any advice would be great appreciated!
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Old 05-08-2010, 06:53 PM
 
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U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights:
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html

Call them and ask them what they think you should do.
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Old 05-08-2010, 07:13 PM
 
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Have you contacted this person?
Shan Goff
Executive Director, Office of Early Learning
(850) 245-0445
I'm assuming your daughter is using the Early Learning Department to access the Speech Services?
I don't know how your state works but where I live we have the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and there is an Ombudsman office there. It's possible to file an official complaint about a specific school through that office. It is our state board that governs all public schools. I spoke with the Ombudswoman before filing a complaint and she was very helpful.
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Old 05-08-2010, 07:13 PM
 
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Is a public School considered a federal building? If so, it is covered by the federal law allowing and protecting a mothers right to feed and a childs right to eat
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:00 PM
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You could also contact the folks at www.firstright.org for help with how to proceed.
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:35 PM
 
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We attend to playgroup at the local MRDD school on thursdays. Shortly after ds2 was born I was told I "could not" breastfeed in the open and that I could go to the office from now on when ds2 wanted/needed to nurse. I smiled, nodded, and went on nursing. That was a solid 8+ months ago... I've not heard another word on the subject - I ignored it completely and no-one has ever said jack to me since.

All that said, isn't the lobby the normal place to be? Aren't you allowed there under any sort of normal circumstances?? If so, I'd just ignore it. I'd just keep going in, hanging out and nursing and dare them to call the cops on you.
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:46 PM
 
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I hope you win!
Quote:
Fla. Stat. § 383.015 (1993) allows a mother to breastfeed in any public or private location. (HB 231)
Fla. Stat. § 383.016 (1994) authorizes a facility lawfully providing maternity services or newborn infant care to use the designation "baby-friendly" on its promotional materials. The facility must be in compliance with at least eighty percent of the requirements developed by the Department of Health in accordance with UNICEF and World Health Organization baby-friendly hospital initiatives. (SB 1668)
Fla. Stat. § 800.02 et seq. and § 827.071 exclude breastfeeding from various sexual offenses, such as lewdness, indecent exposure and sexual conduct.
Fla. Stat. § 847.0135 (5) (d) (2008) excludes a mother breastfeeding her baby from the offense of lewd or lascivious exhibition using a computer. (2008 Fla. Laws, Chap. 172, SB 1442)

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Old 05-08-2010, 10:01 PM
 
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Good for you for fighting it. I think you are correct about the lawyer twisting the law around. I will be following your blog to see what happens.

Mama to three

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Old 05-08-2010, 10:22 PM
 
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Good for you! Please keep us posted as to how the matter is resolved...
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Old 05-08-2010, 10:46 PM
 
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No one has ever told me I couldn`t breastfeed in public...but if they did I would ask them if they wanted to they could call the police, and since I am legally allowed to breastfeed whereever I wish......the police could stop on their way and grab me a coffee

I like this link
http://www.sdhc.k12.fl.us/board/Form_Board.asp

Prehaps I will send them a quick email!
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Old 05-08-2010, 10:57 PM
 
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nice link!
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Old 05-08-2010, 10:59 PM
 
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Here is a quick email that I sent:
Hello!
It has been brought to my attention that a breastfeeding mom has been asked to leave your school for providing her child with one of the necessities of life-food. As educated people I am sure you are all well aware of all the benefits of breastfeeding and that many experts in health strongly advocate breastfeeding. Therefore, students should not be lead to believe that breastfeeding is something that should be hidden or something to be ashamed of. To my understanding Florida laws also allows a mother to breastfeed anywhere. This is a completely ludicrous situation and the best thing to do is educate yourself and your staff about breastfeeding and apologize to this mother! Thanks
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Old 05-09-2010, 07:51 PM
 
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If you are able to do so, please follow-up with legal counsel and recourse. Your action will help to clarify Florida law. Lawyers don't interpret the law; that is for the court to decide... and why would you trust anything *their* lawyer says? Get your own

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Old 05-09-2010, 10:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone for your support and suggestions. I will continue to pursue this. Sometimes I stop and think, why I am doing this? But your support really helps. I will keep you posted.
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Old 05-09-2010, 10:29 PM
 
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I am so sorry this happened to you, but I am glad your not taking it! I am proud of you!

Loving Dh, Mama x 4, Surrogate mother to 5. A born 2003, M and R girl/girl twins 2006, S and C boy/girl twins born 2010. Processing/healing.
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Old 05-09-2010, 11:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melpostay View Post
Thank you everyone for your support and suggestions. I will continue to pursue this. Sometimes I stop and think, why I am doing this? But your support really helps. I will keep you posted.
I think you should follow through. If, for some reason, the case does get taken to court, it could be precedence for other cases. Wisconsin recently passed a similar law and I will be sorely disappointed if it doesn't mean anything. That being said, I'm sorry you are going through this. It has got to be quite stressful. But you are right and you will win.

Mama to three

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Old 05-10-2010, 12:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeanine123 View Post
You could also contact the folks at www.firstright.org for help with how to proceed.
great organization!

Mother of 3, welcomed a new baby girl July 2011

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Old 05-10-2010, 02:17 AM
 
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I first heard about this on Facebook earlier today.

I think the school's lawyer is reading the code wrong. I honestly don't see how you are in the wrong here. If one reads the code and reads the letters (and replies!), it makes sense to me that you were in the right and they were caught in the wrong.
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Old 05-10-2010, 06:45 AM
 
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Keep going!

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Old 05-11-2010, 11:22 PM
 
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I'm rooting for you op! Hang in there when the going gets tough.

You are competely in the right and you are handling the situation with such poise. When BF discrimination occurs we can fight for our rights so that future BF mothers and babies may not have to experience such blatant ignorance or we can let it go and hide. The latter doesn't benefit anyone, not ourselves, our children, or our society.

Standing up for what is right is often the harder path, and I am thankful for people like you who are willing to do it.

Keep us posted!

(BTW, I would like to send an email to the school once I cool down a bit. Right now I can't think of anything nice to say bc after reading your story I was pretty steamed!)

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Old 05-11-2010, 11:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So here's an update. I did a couple interviews and Fox 13 ran a piece yesterday and a follow-up piece today. CBS ran a piece today. I was really a nervous wreck because I didn't know how they would slant them but they were all pretty good, below are some links. It's funny how the school is now saying they were just offering me the options of a private place for my own comfort, that's certainly not what was offered at first.

http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/new...ersy-at-school

http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/new...-breastfeeding

http://www.wtsp.com/video/default.as...01/84750130001
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melpostay View Post
So here's an update. I did a couple interviews and Fox 13 ran a piece yesterday and a follow-up piece today. CBS ran a piece today. I was really a nervous wreck because I didn't know how they would slant them but they were all pretty good, below are some links. I've gotten some nasty comments on my blog but a lot of really great supportive comments too. I have decided not to even read the comments on the news stories. It's funny how the school is now saying they were just offering me the options of a private place for my own comfort, that's certainly not what was offered at first.

http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/new...ersy-at-school

http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/new...-breastfeeding

http://www.wtsp.com/video/default.as...01/84750130001
GOOD JOB! but that newscaster has a very obvious hairpiece! They sure showed you nursing a lot (and never once was boob visible either). YAY I do like how Tanya clarified that you did not accept a private room for breastfeeding because you felt it was only offered due to discrimination and a desire to prevent you from breastfeeding in public.
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:37 AM
 
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So sorry you have to deal with this, but thank you for standing up for our rights!
Awesome!

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Old 05-12-2010, 08:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by cocoanib View Post
So sorry you have to deal with this, but thank you for standing up for our rights!
Awesome!
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:20 PM
 
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Great job on calling the school out for it!

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Old 05-12-2010, 02:20 PM
 
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YOU ROCK!!!

Good for you for standing up for your rights, and for those of all breastfeeding moms, babies and children.

Far from being inappropriate for young kids to see, it's a fabulous opportunity for students to see breastfeeding and to see it modeled. Perhaps it could be a springboard for a lesson in the district on mammals and feeding...

People of all ages need to see breastfeeding normalized, not marginalized to a "private and more quiet" location. BAH!

If the school is smart, they'll do a 180 and spin themselves as protecting and promoting breastfeeding so that their students get the best and most accurate information about the optimal feeding of humans!

If I lived near you, I'd come breastfeed my almost 4 y.o. at the school board meeting. Since I can't, I'll be with you in spirit!
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Old 05-12-2010, 02:25 PM
 
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Ditto awesome job, you do rock!

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Old 05-12-2010, 10:11 PM
 
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Great job Melissa!

What I don't understand is that the school is not only trying to cover their butts but they are calling you a liar. That is so wrong.

You are doing a great job, it's too bad that they are digging themselves in even deeper though by essentially saying your side of the story isn't true. I would be tempted to really stick it to them bc of that (but you are probably much nicer than me ).

It's crazy that anyone would think that you would have any motivation to fabricate the details in this story (for what, the attention?), but you definately are a champion, not only for breastfeeding, but for standing up for our rights in general.


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Old 05-12-2010, 10:29 PM
 
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Good for you! I am so impressed that you called their legal bluff. I'm sure you kept their lawyers emails. I'd totally make those public while requesting an apology(is that a little too snarky of me?)
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Old 05-20-2010, 02:10 PM
 
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Any update, mama?
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