After receiving a letter from a school principal asking her not to breastfeed at a lunch program any longer, a Utah mom is taking her story public.
Andrea Scannell attends the local school’s summer lunch program with her two children. Mount Logan Middle School in Logan, Utah runs the program to provide over 600 parents and children free lunch every day during the summer. Scannell had been taking advantage of it, but was shocked one day when she received a sealed envelope from one of the workers. The letter was from the principal, asking her to conceal breastfeeding her baby due to some fellow patrons who found it uncomfortable.
“One of the workers approached me with a sealed envelope and said, ‘I highly encourage you to read this’ and I said, ‘Is this because of the breast feeding?’ and she said, ‘Just read it, it’s very tastefully written’ and I was like, ‘You know this is illegal right?’ and she said, ‘Just read it’ and then she left,” Scannell recalled.
“The concern is with the exposed breastfeeding of your baby,” reads part of the letter. “As a public school, we have children of all ages attending the lunch program. We also have numerous adults who share a wide variety of personal views and views on raising their own children.”
Scannell says she’s outraged that that she was given the letter, and now, she and other local moms are protesting what they say is bullying.
“This kind of shaming, this kind of bullying, it prevents other breastfeeding women from going out in public, from feeding their baby,” Scannell said.
The school district’s superintendent Marshal Garrett said that the letter was not meant to be negative and appeared to try to temper the situation once the story was made public.
“It was an intent not to stop anyone from breastfeeding, any mothers coming in, that has never been our intent,” said Garrett. “The intent was to just allow for all to feel welcome at our summer lunch program.
“We would hope that she would be more sensitive of the needs of those around her,” Garrett added. “We only have three more days left of the summer lunch program, so we'll have to see what happens next week.”
Scannell doesn't appear to have any plans to cover up her breastfeeding any more than she's already doing, as women in Utah have a legal right to breastfeed their children wherever they need to without covering up.