A teacher forbids a student from breastfeeding her daughter during online lessons: "you can do it in your spare time"
There are situations that, although they should be seen, treated and accepted as totally normal, often become the subject of criticism, clashes and controversies. Breastfeeding in public is one of these and, although today this natural process is generally more tolerated, there is no lack of episodes in which people can tell of real discrimination.
Marcella Mares, the Californian university student we are about to tell you about, knows this well. The woman, in fact, was the victim of an unpleasant episide of humiliation by her teacher while she was attending an online course.
Breastfeeding is a completely natural act, which however in some people's minds is still difficult to accept. Marcella, the young mom and student at Fresno City College, was sitting comfortably at her home computer when she received an unexpected and rude reaction from one of her teachers.
The teacher, via an e-mail, had invited his group of students to keep their cameras and microphones on during the online lessons. Marcella replied that it was fine, but that she would turn them off when she had to breastfeed her daughter. The teacher's answer came like a bolt from the blue. “Don't breastfeed your daughter in class because that's not what you should do. Do it after class, in your free time".
It is almost pointless to dwell on the disappointment and shock that this statement generated in the young mother. Certainly the girl did not expect such an abrupt and rude response. "I'm in my house, the teaching is remote, you can't tell me what I can and can't do," she commented. The teacher then aggravated the situation by publicly criticizing, in front of all the other students, the e-mail reply received from Marcella, who believed she behave "inappropriately".
After she reported the incident to the university authorities, the teacher was forced to apologize to the young mother, inviting her to feel free to turn off the camera at any time to breastfeed. "I can still concentrate on my studies even if I am breastfeeding my baby," Marcella wrote in a post in which she publicised the unpleasant episode, feeling humiliated.
As we have mentioned, breastfeeding in "public" situations is still a contested issue, but we hope that cases like this will remain isolated events, and that student mothers are always supported as they deserve to be by the institutions they attend.