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Austin Breastfeeding Mom Upset With School District Policy
Some say breastfeeding is a way of life, but one local mother is speaking out because she feels she was discriminated by an Austin Independent School District elementary school.
Krisdee DonMoyer is a mother of three and has always been comfortable breast feeding in public, but said that changed after she was asked to nurse in a private room on a school campus.
“I was discretely nursing my baby in the lobby of the school when I was told to move to a private room,” Don Moyer said.
Donmoyer said she was told by an official at the school that it was district policy to be asked to move location while she nursed.
Section 165.002 of Texas state law states: “A mother is entitled to breastfeed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be.”
Donmoyer said she was disappointed because she thinks Austin is a breastfeeding friendly city.
“To tell a mother, in essence, that she’s doing something wrong risks damaging that breast feeding relationship,” Donmoyer said.
She took action by first writing to the principal; she then brought her issue to the district. She said she asked the school district to uphold the state law. After five weeks of bringing her concern to light, she said AISD sent her an eight-page document that said, in part:
“The district shall provide a parent or visitor who has properly checked in at campus during the school day, a place or other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusions by students, employees, and the public, which shall be used to breastfeed or express milk.”
Donmoyer said the state law exists to protect mothers from discrimination, and she was disappointed that AISD would put it in writing that they are going against the law.
Several people we spoke to around Austin said they understand both sides. One local resident said he does not think kids in school are mature enough to see breastfeeding as a natural measure.
One North Austin mother, Rory Armentor, said every mother should be allowed to breastfeed anywhere they please.
“If you can pull out goldfish and cram them into your kids face anywhere you want you should be able to give your kid the most perfect food,” Armentor said.
Through the controversy, Donmoyer said her comfort level with public nursing has changed. She plans to continue to speaking about this issue at board meetings until it is resolved.
“This has impacted me far more than I thought it would,” Donmoyer said.
By Cassie Gallo