As we like to say, “Another day, another breastfeeding scandal,” and this one takes place right in yours truly’s backyard. According to ABC’s 10News, a San Diego mother claimed discrimination on the part of the Poway Unified School District when she was punished for breastfeeding her baby at school.
Rachel Rainbolt was in a private session with a female teacher and her 8-year-old son when she began to nurse her infant. According to Rainbolt, she was a met with the look of someone who was “disgusted and horrified.”
"She turned to me and said, 'That was not appropriate,'" Rainbolt told 10News. "'Do you know what a breast feeding cover is? That's not appropriate to do here. Aren't you concerned that people will stare?'"
As if that wasn't humiliating enough, Rainbolt got a call from the district the next day saying her 8-year-old son will no longer be able to attend a monthly group presentation class because of the incident.
"Heartbreaking and even that much more scary," said Rainbolt. "Now, I have to start to worry about his well-being. I felt completely ashamed and scared."
Surprisingly, California sided with the school when Rainbolt made a formal complaint of discrimination to the state. What’s most shocking about this is California law allows for mothers to breastfeed their children in any public location.
"I came back asserting that it was a legally protected right." Rainbolt said. "Her last words were, 'So you're not willing to comply with my requests to stop?' And I said no."
This woman is made of tough stuff, as she’s not going down without a fight. In fact, she’s organized a “nurse-in” on Wednesday morning, and is trying to get dozens of mothers to breastfeed in public outside the district’s headquarters.
Poway Unified School District issued the following statement to 10News:
"On Tuesday, September 17, 2013, a 10News broadcast reported on a local mother's plans to hold a public 'nurse in' outside the Poway Unified School District's district office on Wednesday, September 25.
The District abides by Civil Code and Education Code in balancing the rights of mothers to publically [sic] breast feed with our responsibility to provide a classroom environment that is safe and supportive of all students' learning.
PUSD respects the right for a peaceful demonstration."
This seems so odd to us that they are punishing an 8-year-old boy for an act that is completely natural and normal on the part of his mother. To boot, there was only her son and the one other teacher in the room. This has left us scratching our heads.
Where do you fall on this debate? Weigh in below!
Source: ABC 10News