Logan mother says letter from school officials about breastfeeding amounts to ‘bullying’

LOGAN, Utah — It’s a letter one Logan mother never thought she’d get. It asked her to cover up while breastfeeding.

Andrea Scannell was given the letter from the school’s principal Wednesday, and already it’s going viral and is generating a lot of online discussion. It seems everyone has an opinion about breastfeeding in public.

Scannell and her family attend Logan’s school lunch program at Mount Logan Middle School, and some patrons there said her daughter’s lunch wasn’t tasteful.

Scannell recounted the incident: “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.”

The letter says, in part, “The concern is with the exposed breastfeeding of your baby.” It continues, “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 said she thinks the letter was in poor taste, not her breastfeeding.

“This kind of shaming, this kind of bullying, it prevents other breastfeeding women from going out in public, from feeding their baby,” she said.

Logan City School District Superintendent Marshal Garrett explains, “It was an intent not to stop anyone from breastfeeding, any mothers coming in, that has never been our intent. The intent was to just allow for all to feel welcome at our summer lunch program.”

FOX 13 News asked other Logan residents how they feel about breastfeeding in public.

Larry Petersen said, “I think it can offend people.”

Melissa Stuart said, “It can start a talk I think with younger kids that maybe parents aren’t ready to address yet or that should be addressed at home.”

Kim Babcock thinks, “As long as it’s discreet and they cover it up a little bit, I don’t see a problem with it.”

Utah law states that a mother is not required to cover herself when breastfeeding in public. Scannell said she doesn’t use a blanket, but said she is always covered.

The Logan City School District Superintendent said the lunch program has been around for 15 years and this is the first incident of this kind.

79 comments

  • April Young Bennett

    It is not the job of school administrators (or business owners or anyone for that matter) to cater to intolerant people who complain about others who are behaving in a legal, natural and appropriate manner. The principal should have just told the complainer that there are no rules forbidding women from breastfeeding and so he had no authority to intervene. What if a complainer wanted the principal to reprimand someone because they were uncomfortable watching someone with a disability walk awkwardly? Or they were uncomfortable with people of another race sitting at their table? Just because someone complains does not make them right.

  • April Young Bennett

    It is not the job of school administrators (or business owners or anyone for that matter) to cater to intolerant people who complain about others who are behaving in a legal, natural and appropriate manner. The principal should have just told the complainer that there are no rules forbidding women from breastfeeding and so he had no authority to intervene. What if a complainer wanted the principal to reprimand someone because they were uncomfortable watching someone with a disability walk awkwardly? Or they were uncomfortable with people of another race sitting at their table? Just because someone complains does not make them right.

    • Bob

      I promise you April that if it doesn’t bother you it certainly won’t bother me. I’m just trying to picture your mother breastfeeding you right there in the middle of the shopping mall.

      • Rachel Thatcher Loveridge

        Bob: Actually, here in the U.S., until the 1950′s, it was considered proper and normal to breastfeed at church, in friends’ homes, etc. It wasn’t until then that industries and then doctors started touting formula as better for babies, which it wasn’t. It was a cultural swing to believe that modernity could cure all of man’s ills. It was a cultural trend that made people uncomfortable about breastfeeding. It followed the trends of centuries before of the wealthy hiring “wet nurses” to feed their babies. Trends aren’t necessarily good. Some women don’t have the luxury of breastfeeding their babies, but the comments here likening a woman’s breastfeeding in public (and covered up no less) to a man’s urinating in public are simply the fruits of this trend that started decades ago. And I’m not a liberal, so don’t try that on me.

  • Bob

    Take a look around you APRIL YOUNG BENNETT and see how many refined women are breastfeeding in public.

  • Billy

    breastfeeding in front of other kids at a public school with no parental guidance around I think is wrong teachers and faculties are there but the kids parents were not Some parents probably think breastfeeding in public is not the right thing to do….I agree with the school board…Go to the nurses office or bathroom. .I think a private stall in womens bathrooms with a chair or couch should be provided so they can breastfeed

  • r jones

    I honestly do not understand why one can not cover up while breast-feeding. Yes you have a right to feed your child but do we need to see your breasts? Its natural and thats awesome your doing it. But have respect for yourself and cover up.

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