A nursing mother was forced to leave a Brad Paisley concert in Chula Vista, California. Megan Christopherson contends she was asked to leave because she was breastfeeding in public. However, authorities claim the mother was risking her child’s safety and health, as she was standing in the concert “pit” area.
The entire incident was filmed and posted on YouTube. In the short clip, a Chula Vista police officer clearly asks Megan to move to a safer section of the arena.
As reported by 10 News, the officer clearly stated that Megan was endangering her child’s health and safety. He was specifically concerned about the noise levels, and the possibility of a crowd surge in front of the stage:
“Your child doesn’t have hearing protection on… The crowd is going to start surging forward. Where you’re at, your child can get crushed. So we’re afraid of your child getting crushed, and we’re afraid of your child’s eardrums being hurt, OK. That is borderline, probably, child endangerment.”
During the encounter, the officer eventually threatened the nursing mother with arrest and a referral to the San Diego County Child Protective Services.
Although the officer underlined the safety concerns, Megan believes she was targeted because she was breastfeeding in public:
“I want to stand up for all nursing women and stand up for what’s right… It was completely a cop-out. They’re trying to cover this up because they know they legally cannot remove me for nursing.”
The officer gave Megan the option of moving to a different section — or leaving the venue. As she was offered a full refund, the nursing mother eventually left the Brad Paisley concert.
Megan claims she has attended numerous concerts with her infant and her 10-year-old child. Although she is often seated close to the stage, she has never been asked to move to a different location or leave.
In recent weeks, the mother claims she stood in the pit section at a Tim McGraw concert without incident. As she has never faced similar criticism, she believes she was singled-out by the Chula Vista officer because she was nursing her baby.
As reported by Fox 5, Megan said the noise levels did not pose any threat to her child’s hearing, and a dangerous crowd surge was unlikely.
As nursing mothers continue to fight for the right to feed their children in public, the incident at the Brad Paisley concert is sure to add to the controversy. Despite Megan’s accusations, the Chula Vista Police Department said “the incident was due to the welfare and safety of the infant and mot due to a mother’s legal right to breastfeed in public.”