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Nursing Mom Disciplined For Pumping Breast Milk In Class: Treated 'Like I Was A Criminal'

A breastfeeding mother faces suspension at Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, Michigan, for pumping breast milk during class.

"I felt discriminated against," said Ashley McPherson. "I felt belittled how they were talking to me. They were knocking down my character. They were treating me like I was a criminal."

McPherson is studying to become a nurse's assistant, WXYZ reports. One of her classes starts at 9:00 a.m. and does not end until 3:00 p.m., she said.

In late September, the 20-year-old new mom pumped her breast milk in the back of her classroom after her breasts became swollen and painful.

"I wasn’t flaunting," McPherson told WXYZ. "I was covered from head to knee basically. The lab coat was pretty big. It covers your whole body."

The young mom said that her instructor told her, in front of other students, "Your boobs were all lopsided."

The instructor reportedly demanded McPherson to sign a Discipline Behavior Form to acknowledge that she behaved inappropriately.

"And [the instructor said] I should have known not to do that and I told her, 'No, I’m allowed to,'" the humiliated  mom recounted. "I was completely covered, nobody told me they were uncomfortable and she started getting into my face. She said since you are not going to be signing this, this is borderline sexual harassment."

A college spokesperson said that the instructor discussed the incident after class and showed McPherson a private location to pump, but McPherson said that the area was locked.

The school is investigating.

"We are very respectful of all of our students and work hard to provide a quality and accommodating environment for them to learn and grow," the school said in a statement. "In fact, our mission puts students front and center and we measure our success by the success our students achieve in their careers and lives."

Because of the incident, McPherson's certification is in limbo and she risks not being able to complete it.

Michigan state legislature forbids a "place of public accommodation" to "deny the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations ... to a woman because she is breastfeeding a child," according to

Sources: / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons


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