Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Breast Feeding at School

Due to privacy regulations we cannot comment on the specifics of a 15 year old student that has received a lot of media attention. But, should a student ask to pump breast milk at school, this is what our response would be.

Lake Forest High School has many female staff members who have personal experience with breast feeding their own children and managing that goal after returning to work. They are wonderful resources for teen moms wishing to do the same. We encourage any teen mom to seek their advice.

We have no specially designed room for that purpose but we would do our best to accommodate that student’s request. The student would be responsible for providing her own cooler for storage. Any refrigerators in school are in use for other purposes. To use them to also store a student’s pumped breast milk would risk contamination.

Our teen moms have access to the DAPI program in Camden which is specifically designed to support pregnant teens. There they can take their classes, take their baby with them, breast feed and pump whenever necessary. A student who chooses to leave that environment and return to regular school also chooses to leave behind a certain level of support.


tash said...

She offered to pump in the bathroom and bring her own cooler. What you say here seems to say that is ok with you. Why then is this an issue?

Ms. Sipress said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Yes, but she is not asking to bring her baby. Just for a proper place to pump that you should legally have for your staff anyways. She just wants the same education as her peers and to help her child get the best possible start. Schools for teen moms often do not hold their students to as high of standards and look worse pn resumes and applications.

Nirvana said...

What accommodations does the staff have for breastfeeding/pumping? What their accommodations are should be for the student as well. I hope the staff are well taken care of as well.

Breastfeeding Peaches of Georgia

Tina said...

please allow her to pump in school, on the schedule that her own body chooses.

Callie said...

The solution is simple. Give her the same protected-by-law accommodations as the lactating teachers at the school. Do teachers store breast milk in a cooler at their desk or the teacher's lounge? (Because certainly the whole teacher's lounge is "contaminated" by the milk spores if it's in there.) Worst case, the student can nurse in an empty classroom, whatever happens to be available) and keep the milk/pump in her locker. At best, she can use a smaller office and store her milk a staff refrigerator.
I'm very curious about the differences in curriculum in the pregnant mothers program vs the regular school. Maybe the mother is involved with certain special programs at the school (honors classes, music, art). Is the alternate program the mere basics? Maybe it's not practical for her to transport herself with a baby via personal vehicle to this alternate learning center. Maybe she can't drive herself because she doesn't have a driver's license. There are a lot of maybe's and specifics that we outsiders don't have details about. But ultimately, this mother is protected by law, just like the employees at the school. Just like other students who need accommodations, temporary or not.

Anonymous said...

I support Lake Forest!!! I know you do what you have to do to accommodate all your students in any way possible... I have been there and I believe this story is being blown out of proportion and I will continue to support Lake Forest regardless!!

Jacky Mummie said...

Thank you for addressing this issue and correcting the original plan of action. I know this is a new request, a teen mom asking for a proper place to use her breast pump, and it may have come as a shock to the school officials. But I am so glad to see this update and I look forward to seeing more as well. What a GREAT opportunity to educate the community about the benefits of breastfeeding and the laws that are out there to protect everyone. Keep up the great work and Rock Your Breastfeeding Journey!!!!!! ~Mummie