May 15, 2019
In mid-March, mom of four Myranda Juarez was volunteering for school picture day at Jeffersontown Elementary, where two of her kids go to school, and brought her young daughter along. When it came time for lunch, Juarez told WIS News 10 that her daughter was getting fussy and she seized on the break in volunteer duties to breastfeed her baby.
She was then approached by school counselor Heather McGovern who offered her office for Juarez to use, but the mom wanted to stay where she was.
"I didn’t feel like I was making a disruption," Juarez told WIS News 10. "I didn’t have anybody coming up to me and saying anything further and the volunteers and teachers I spoke with said they didn’t know I was doing anything more than holding her and on a phone call.”
But Juarez said McGovern told her that she needed to use a private office to breastfeed in the school. And Juarez also said McGovern said that she could be making students feel uncomfortable.
Kentucky laws are pretty clear about a mom's right to breastfeed, with a law stating that municipal ordinances cannot prohibit or restrict where mothers can feed their kids. In fact, all 50 states have similar laws that rule women can breastfeed in public. So there's no legal ground to stand on for someone to ask a mom to move locations or cover up.
Knowing her right to breastfeed, Juarez decided to sue the school. Her lawsuit asks for damages and sensitivity training for everyone who works in the schools in Jefferson County. Hopefully it'll including a refresher course on breastfeeding rights 101!