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Should women have to cover up when they breastfeed in public?
August 4, 2014 - Andrea Johnson
Should women be required to cover up with a blanket or a shawl when they breastfeed their babies in public?
Andrea Scannell, a Logan, Utah woman, is apparently kicking up a fuss because the principal of her son's school sent out a letter asking breastfeeding mothers to be more discreet. The woman attends a public lunch program run over the summer at her son's middle school and breastfeeds her daughter in the lunchroom.
The principal wrote that his office had received complaints from multiple people about women breastfeeding during the lunch program and suggested that Scannell and other breastfeeding mothers either cover up with a small blanket or ask the lunchroom staff for assistance in finding a private area in the school where they can breastfeed. He said parents have different views of public breastfeeding and he would personally not want his own child exposed to it without having a chance to discuss it with him first.
Scannell is outraged by the letter and says she is being bullied and that it is completely legal to breastfeed in all 50 states. She also has told media that she is always covered when she breastfeeds, though she doesn't say with what. Some of her supporters even organized a protest last month where they all came to the school and breastfed their babies during the lunch program.
I don't have strong personal feelings one way or another about this issue, though I think it would be in better taste for breastfeeding women to be both modest and discreet if they are breastfeeding in public. It shouldn't be too hard to use a light blanket or a shawl when they are breastfeeding, especially in an area with a lot of other people. I didn't think the letter the principal wrote was at all rude or bullying. He was asking Scannell and other breastfeeding mothers to be more considerate and she responded by being even more inconsiderate.
What do you think women should do if they are breastfeeding in a public space?
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