trouble at a county owned pool - help me with letter - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 10-26-2010, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
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I never thought that it would happen to me. I actually, for personal reasons, prefer to keep my breasts as much out of view as possible , even when breastfeeding (though I rarely use a cover), and I was with a friend who claimed that she could not see anything. Not that it makes a difference as far as my rights are concerned. I was just surprised and disappointed that it happened to me... and at a county government owned pool.

Below is a draft of my letter. I'm guessing that I should send it to the Facility Director. There is also an Aquatics Coordinator and a Pool Manager, though it may have been the pool manager who told me I couldn't "do that here." I know it wasn't one of the lifeguards on duty. Should I send my letter an an e-mail, an attachment, or snail mail? I have easy access to e-mail and phone number. Should I follow up with a phone call? What should I ask them to do about it? Apologize? Train their employees? Post an international breastfeeding symbol sticker? Refund my admission? Any follow-up? Please read my letter and let me know what you think.

Quote:
Yesterday afternoon, I was swimming with my daughter at the Holladay Lions Fitness and Recreation Center. When she needed to nurse, I breastfed her. Around 6:00PM, I was approached by an employee who politely but firmly told me that I was not allowed to breastfeed there because it is a public place. I informed her that according to Utah State Law, I was within my rights to breastfeed there, and I had to reiterate my rights a second time before she left me to finish feeding my daughter.

For your reference, I have included the exact text of the laws from the Utah Code that protect my right to breastfeed:

Utah Code
Title 17 Counties
Chapter 15 Miscellaneous Provisions
Section 25 Right to breast feed.

17-15-25.** Right to breast feed.
The county legislative body may not prohibit a woman's breast feeding in any location where she otherwise may rightfully be, irrespective of whether the breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breast feeding.


Utah Code
Title 76 Utah Criminal Code
Chapter 10 Offenses Against Public Health, Safety, Welfare, and Morals
Section 1229.5 Breast feeding is not violation of this part.

76-10-1229.5.** Breast feeding is not violation of this part.
A woman's breast feeding, including breast feeding in any location where the woman otherwise may rightfully be, does not under any circumstance constitute a violation of this part, irrespective of whether or not the breast is covered during or incidental to feeding.


As you can see for yourself, I was clearly within my rights to breastfeed my daughter at your pool. I am disappointed to find interference with my legal right to breastfeed and especially disappointed that it happened at a pool owned by the county government. I highly recommend that you make sure that all employees of the Holladay Lions Fitness and Recreation Center be informed of the laws regarding breastfeeding and take appropriate action to respect a woman’s right to breastfeed in public. I would also be happy to drop off a sticker with the International Breastfeeding Symbol to be posted where it may be easily seen to show employees and patrons that this is a place where a woman’s right to breastfeed will be respected.


Sincerely,
(my name)
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#2 of 16 Old 10-26-2010, 01:22 PM
 
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I'm sure others will have something more useful to add, but I think your letter is perfect. Calm, well thought-out, with appropriate references. Well done!
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#3 of 16 Old 10-26-2010, 01:22 PM
 
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I think your letter is great
Is 'Lions' possesive or plural? That is the only thing I could find to wonder about

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#4 of 16 Old 10-26-2010, 02:01 PM
 
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Make sure you send it certified mail

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#5 of 16 Old 10-26-2010, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the votes of confidence. It is "Lions."
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#6 of 16 Old 10-26-2010, 02:06 PM
 
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The only thing I might add is that you ask to be contacted regarding the matter with information about how they plan to rectify the situation - let them know that you want to know what their plan is and that if they don't make one that is satisfactory to you that you plan to move your complaint up the chain until you find someone who will take it seriously.
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#7 of 16 Old 10-26-2010, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FloridaBorn View Post
Make sure you send it certified mail
I was wondering... Their contact us page only has e-mail addresses and a physical address, not a mailing address.
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#8 of 16 Old 10-26-2010, 02:13 PM
 
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I would assume the physical address is also the mailing address, since they didn't list a different one. You might want to send it certified and a copy by email.
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#9 of 16 Old 10-26-2010, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
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I edited and split the last paragraph:
Quote:
As you can see for yourself, I was clearly within my rights to breastfeed my daughter at your pool. I am disappointed to find interference with my legal right to breastfeed and especially disappointed that it happened at a pool owned by the county government. I highly recommend that you make sure that all employees of the Holladay Lions Fitness and Recreation Center be informed of the laws regarding breastfeeding and take appropriate action to respect a woman’s right to breastfeed in public. Please contact me at (e-mail) or (phone) to inform me of the plans you make to rectify the situation and protect breastfeeding mothers in the future.

I would also be happy to drop off a sticker with the International Breastfeeding Symbol to be posted where it may be easily seen to show employees and patrons that this is a place where a woman’s right to breastfeed will be respected. Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.
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#10 of 16 Old 10-26-2010, 02:43 PM
 
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possibly o/t but were you poolside? because i'm in the UK and legally protected to nurse, but you can't nurse (or indeed eat at all) poolside. not because it is a breast, because it is a foodstuff.
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#11 of 16 Old 10-26-2010, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post
possibly o/t but were you poolside? because i'm in the UK and legally protected to nurse, but you can't nurse (or indeed eat at all) poolside. not because it is a breast, because it is a foodstuff.
I don't believe that is a factor here. They do not list the prohibition of food in the rules on their website. I would accept this explanation if they can cite a law to that effect. It seems a little strange to have such a rule since there is always the possibility of a breastfeeding mother leaking a small amount of milk into the pool when swimming, and the baby is likely drinking some pool water anyway. I have also been to a pool here that sells food poolside, so I can't imagine this being the issue.
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#12 of 16 Old 10-26-2010, 03:32 PM
 
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Aye, i just thought it was worth mentioning, because if i nursed my baby in or next to my pool i WOULD be asked to move (not stop, just move - if i did it in the cafe i'd be offered free iced water), just as if i'd opened a can of soda or a packet of potato chips. And if i wrote to complain i'd be told that it was a food thing, not a breastmilk thing. So if that pool has a no-food-poolside rule you might be prepared for that.

I do get that the milk might leak, but arguably all kinds of substances might leak into the water and they still ask you not to have them in the pool in a way beyond that unavoidable amount(all manner of body fluids in fact). I wouldn't be allowed to swim with a bottle of cowsmilk i was drinking from, even if i would be allowed to swim with a little cowsmilk moustache from swigging it before i jumped in.
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#13 of 16 Old 10-26-2010, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post
Aye, i just thought it was worth mentioning, because if i nursed my baby in or next to my pool i WOULD be asked to move (not stop, just move - if i did it in the cafe i'd be offered free iced water), just as if i'd opened a can of soda or a packet of potato chips. And if i wrote to complain i'd be told that it was a food thing, not a breastmilk thing. So if that pool has a no-food-poolside rule you might be prepared for that.

I do get that the milk might leak, but arguably all kinds of substances might leak into the water and they still ask you not to have them in the pool in a way beyond that unavoidable amount(all manner of body fluids in fact). I wouldn't be allowed to swim with a bottle of cowsmilk i was drinking from, even if i would be allowed to swim with a little cowsmilk moustache from swigging it before i jumped in.
I'm guessing you're talking about this case. It appears that policies have been amended, so breastfeeding is exempt from this rule.

Quote:
But regulations have been redrafted over the weekend to make clear that breastfeeding is allowed and new guidelines have been issued to staff.
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#14 of 16 Old 10-26-2010, 04:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ View Post
I'm guessing you're talking about this case. It appears that policies have been amended, so breastfeeding is exempt from this rule.
I'm in Scotland, the laws are different, we've had the right to BF in public for a lot longer here. I wasn't actually aware of this case, i just go to my pool a lot! i couldn't do what she did anyway, there has to be one adult for every under-5 at my pool, so there'd never be a need-to-feed-no-one-to-watch-the-kid scenario where i am.
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#15 of 16 Old 11-11-2010, 06:14 AM - Thread Starter
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So I got a response from the director.  He was respectful of my right to breastfeed and promised to inform his employees about the laws regarding breastfeeding.

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#16 of 16 Old 11-11-2010, 02:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ View Post

So I got a response from the director.  He was respectful of my right to breastfeed and promised to inform his employees about the laws regarding breastfeeding.



  Super news!  Good on ya for following up with it.

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