An Arkansas water park manager issued a public apology to a nursing mother after an employee told her that if she wanted to breastfeed, she would have to do it in the bathroom.
According to 5 News, a Facebook post revealed the employee’s mistake at Parrot island Water Park in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Once it went online, the news quickly went viral, and many Facebook users directed scathing comments at the water park.
“Policies and training on women’s rights to nurse in public need to be addressed,” Facebook user Allison Reeves-Plummer commented, according to the Inquisitr. “Nursing mothers should be encouraged, not harassed and/or made to feel less than simply because they are nursing their child(ren) in public. Seriously hope you make the appropriate changes and SOON.”
Several angry people echoed this sentiment and threatened to take their business elsewhere.
Parrot Island General Manager William Miller maintained that the whole incident was a miscommunication in a portion of his official statement:
In respect to all breast feeding mothers, Parrot Island understands the need and right to breast feed young children. We not only understand your rights to breastfeed in a public place, but we support your rights. We allow breast feeding anywhere in the park and this policy is reviewed often through our routine staff training. We truly regret the incident in question that occurred with a staff member who did not communicate our policy effectively. We have followed up with the staff member in question and will continue our training efforts with all staff members throughout the remainder of the season.
He later invites breastfeeding mothers to nurse in staff offices if they wish.
“Being a father of three boys who were breast fed, I will work hard to make sure our policy is understood and followed by all staff members,” he added. “I sincerely apologize for the incident, as well as, the confusion and hope that all mothers understand we have a policy dedicated to be more accommodating to both mother and child.”
Most posters on the company’s Facebook page sound content with the apology, although some commenters still insist that nursing mothers should cover up.
“Be polite, breastfeed in private,” wrote Facebooker Roseann Marie Basant. “Hormonal young boys don’t need the distraction.”