A Florida mom has been banned from her niece’s elementary school for breastfeeding her daughter on school grounds at a school event, a claim the school is denying, WPTV is reporting.
Twenty-five-year-old Maegan Shoemaker was at Plew Elementary School in Niceville (a town in the Florida Panhandle) on Wednesday for the school’s weekly fitness event, where her niece was participating. Ms. Shoemaker told the Northwest Florida Daily News that she takes her niece to and from school, attends parent/teacher conferences, and watches her activities for her. When her infant daughter began getting fussy, Ms. Shoemaker started breastfeeding her.
“When they’re hungry, they’re hungry. I don’t eat under a cover, and I don’t expect my children to eat under a cover. You can’t dictate where I breastfeed or how I breastfeed.”
Ms. Shoemaker says she put a “barrier” between herself and the 5th-grade students using the track while she was breastfeeding, although what kind of “barrier” it was has not been made clear.
“It was tall enough that it was blocking (their) view. None of them could see.”
Principal Carolyn McAllister said that she received a complaint from another parent about Ms. Shoemaker breastfeeding in view of the kids.
“That is a classroom situation and anything that disrupts a class becomes my concern.”
McAllister says that it wasn’t Ms. Shoemaker’s breastfeeding that caused her to get banned, but rather, it was her response when she was asked to stop.
“I asked her to use discretion around the kids. I never told her she couldn’t breastfeed.”
Ms. Shoemaker then became belligerent and hostile, according to McAllister, and it was her acting up, and not her breastfeeding, that got her banned from the school.
“She was hostile. She was not in control of herself. She was belligerent. She upset my secretaries to the point that they were calling the resource officer.”
Shoemaker denies being hostile.
“I wasn’t yelling, and I wasn’t cursing. I wasn’t coming at her with my body. I wasn’t backing down and I was standing my ground, but I wasn’t violent.”
Regardless of whose version of events is true, Ms. Shoemaker was given a trespass notice, which means that she is banned from her niece’s school’s grounds until the end of the school year.
“I’m very involved with her and her school and now I can’t be. And it seems very unfair.”
Do you believe that breastfeeding on school grounds, in view of 5th graders, is inappropriate, and that the school was right to ban this mom?
[Image courtesy of: Enfant Style Diapers]