High-school in Delaware Refusing to Allow Teen Mom to Pump or Breastfeed

Teen mom Jaielyn Belong and her new son Adrian have been discriminated against by the staff at Lake Forest High School in Felton, Delaware. Accord to Mama Trama, “the nurse, a counselor and a school administrator recommended Jaielyn only breastfeed her son before and after school hours. This recommendation would not be changed regardless of whether or not a doctor’s note is able to be obtained. This would mean Jaielyn could not pump for or nurse her baby for over eight hours every weekday.”

It doesn’t make any sense. Surely, they’re not denying the child his basic human right to breast milk. For the school, letting her pump or nurse seems like the right thing to do. We are taught that breast milk is best for the baby. The mother wants to breastfeed or pump. Many other school have done the right thing and provided accommodations for a nursing mother and baby. Will Lake Forest High School pay for the formula for the child because they’re refusing to let the mother pump or feed her child her own milk? Do they know that formula is not an equal substitute to breast milk and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of a baby’s life? Will they pay for all of the medical bills that the child will incur due to formula feeding related sicknesses? Or maybe, Lake Forest High School is thinking about picking up the tab for some donor milk. Right? Doubtful.

What does Delaware state law say about teen moms and their babies?

Del. Code Ann. tit. 31 § 310 (1997) entitles a mother to breastfeed her child in any location of a place of public accommodation wherein the mother is otherwise permitted.

I don’t see anywhere in there that says a mother going to school shouldn’t be allowed to give her baby the breast milk he deserves, that she wants to provide, do you?

How can you help?

Join the support page, created by Emily Kirsch: https://www.facebook.com/WeSupportJaielynBelongsRightToFeedHerBaby

Leave a note on the school’s Facebook wall: https://www.facebook.com/lfhsspartans (It is down as of now)
Call 302-284-9291

Send emails:

  • School nurse’s email: dmblades@lf.k12.de.us
  • The dean of Student’s email: chmorris@lf.k12.de.us
  • Principal’s email: jfilicicchia@lf.k12.de.us
  • Assistant Principals’ email: twmorris@lf.k12.de.us and jdberry@lf.k12.de.us

Read the news on the discrimination: “Delaware Teen Mom Denied Breastfeeding Accommodations” by Jennifer Antonik of Momma Trauma

***UPDATE***

The school is saying they will accommodate her pumping needs, though I am not sure how much which she is supported at the regular school, not the offshoot for troubled teens. Read the full note from the superintendent:

Other sources say the mother said they are telling her daughter she needs to bring her own ice chest to store her milk during the day. And the school seems to think she will abuse the time she’s given to pump to just goof off.

**2nd Update**

There has been a radio show interview with the superintendent. Here is a transcript on Momma Trauma. What do I think of what he’s said? Well, let’s just say I don’t think he has a clue how breastfeeding and pumping works if he thinks breastfeeding moms can go all day without pumping. I also don’t think one space in one of the who knows how many fridges the school has is unreasonable.

What do you think?

 

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One thought on “High-school in Delaware Refusing to Allow Teen Mom to Pump or Breastfeed

  1. As a former high school teacher, I’d suggest that this super might be out of touch, or people might not be being quite truthful with him–or maybe it’s exactly as he says, in terms of nursing teachers. Maybe he only talked to women nearing the end of their careers, who nursed their babies 20 years ago, or maybe he talked to younger teachers who were only going to nurse the first couple months anyway. If you were to study breastfeeding rates amongst teachers returning from mat leave, you’d find the rates drop quite significantly, I think. I don’t know of too many who’ve managed to keep it up for long. Teaching schedules aren’t usually very accommodating, and even if they managed to get a class schedule that worked for pumping, there’s not usually a good place to go.

    I think the best this student can do, after choosing to return to her school and not using the special program, is to establish a nursing schedule around accommodating teachers’ or administrators’ empty classrooms/offices, but if she wants a totally empty place–well, there really aren’t spaces like that in too many schools. I like to think I would’ve been fine with a student using my classroom during my planning period to pump. (I never really thought about it back then.)

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