LegalReader.com  ·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

News & Politics

Mother Sues School District After Alleged Breastfeeding Discrimination Incident


— May 10, 2019

Myranda Juarez is suing Jeffersontown Elementary School over allegations that she was discriminated against for breastfeeding her daughter on school grounds.


A lawsuit was recently filed against Jeffersontown Elementary School after a breastfeeding mother was allegedly discriminated against. According to the suit, Myranda Juarez was breastfeeding her infant daughter at the school when “school staff interfered with her legal right to do so.”

The Kentucky State Capitol building in Frankfort
The Kentucky State Capitol building in Frankfort; image courtesy of RXUYDC via Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org

The incident occurred back in mid-March when Juarez visited the school to help out for picture day. She brought her daughter along, and when her volunteer duties began to die down around lunchtime, her daughter began getting fussy. Juarez said, “I thought it was a good opportunity since we wouldn’t be very busy and there were students leaving to just go ahead and take that time to just sit where we were.”

She also added the while breastfeeding, she “tried to keep as much of her skin covered as possible.” However, that didn’t stop school officials from interfering. Eventually, Heather McGovern, a counselor at the school, “approached her and offered to let Juarez use her office.”

Juarez said:

“I just simply don’t have to be moved. I didn’t prefer to be moved. I didn’t feel like I was making a disruption. I didn’t have anybody coming up to me and saying anything further and the volunteers and teachers I spoke with said they didn’t know I was doing anything more than holding her and on a phone call.”

According to the suit, when Juarez refused to go somewhere more private, McGovern allegedly told her that “if she is going to breastfeed in the school, she needed to do it in the private office.” She also added that the sight of Juarez breastfeeding could make students feel uncomfortable.

Recalling the incident, Juarez said:

“It caught me off guard. I tried to retain my composure…I would never want to put anyone in that kind of position, it was never my intent. My intent was just to calm my child and put her to sleep.”

Days later, Juarez met with Principal Brooke Schilling and was told McGovern’s reaction to her breastfeeding was her “following instructions from the principal.” Schilling also noted that “nursing would only be allowed in the private office in the future.”

As a result of the rule, Juarez alleges her duties as a volunteer have been suspended and she has “missed out on important events with her other children.” She is seeking unspecified damages and would like to see the school implement sensitivity training for its employees so incidents like the one she was subjected to don’t happen again.

It should be noted that the state of Kentucky “prohibits anyone from interfering with a mother breastfeeding her child in any location if a mother is authorized to be there,” according to statute 211.755.

Sources:

Lawsuit claims school officials prevented woman from breastfeeding infant daughter

Lawsuit claims Kentucky school officials prevented woman from breastfeeding infant daughter

Join the conversation!