A 25-year-old woman was reportedly banned from Plew Elementary School in Niceville, Florida, on Wednesday after a concerned parent complained to the principal about the way she breastfed her daughter on school grounds.
Meagan Shoemaker visited the school’s campus to support her niece at her weekly fitness event when her eight-and-a-half month old daughter, Arya, became hungry. Shoemaker’s motherly instincts took over and she breastfed her daughter in the bleachers.
Principal Carolyn McAllister received a complaint from another parent about the way Shoemaker went about breast-feeding her daughter in front of a fifth grade class that was using the track.
“When they’re hungry, they’re hungry,” Shoemaker told NWF Daily News. “... 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.”
Principal McAllister claims she merely asked Shoemaker to use discretion and never told her she could not breastfeed her child. Shoemaker, however, alleges that she was discreet and used a barrier between herself and the students while nursing her baby.
The incident eventually led to Shoemaker barging into McAllister’s office to argue her case. Shoemaker claimed she was “standing her ground but wasn’t violent.” McAllister and her staff say she was “belligerent” and “hostile,” so hostile, in fact, that secretaries were calling for the resource officer.
The incident ultimately led to McAllister issuing a trespass warning to Shoemaker, preventing her from entering the school’s campus for the rest of the school year.
“Breasts are so… sexualized that they can’t be used for their intended purpose,” Shoemaker told NWF Daily News. “And that, to me, is wrong.”
Photo Credit: Nick Tomecek/Daily News