Make it Illegal to Breastfeed Someone Else's Child Without Parental Consent
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I am writing to ask for your help by creating legislation that would make breastfeeding someone's else's child without parental consent illegal.
In July 2018, while picking up my then 15 month-old son Westley from Happy Kids Pre-school & Daycare in Shingle Springs, a teacher told me that she had put her breast in my sons mouth to see what he would do because he was always staring at her while she was breastfeeding her daughter in their classroom. She told me that he had some of her breast milk on his bottom lip, and that he licked it and he liked it. The other teacher standing next to her made sexual statements about my son while laughing.
I had breastfed both of my children, but had never given anyone else permission to do so and felt violated on many levels. I reported this to the El Dorado County Sheriffs, who, although completely shocked and disgusted, ultimately could not take criminal action against the teacher because they found that there is no law against breastfeeding someone else’s child without parental consent, which was a surprise to them and to us as well.
We proceeded with civil litigation and during the teacher’s deposition, she testified that she always breastfed in the classroom with no cover and exposed her breasts with other infants and preschool-aged children present 3 times each day: one 30-minute lunch and two 10-minute breaks, and that my son Westley came over and stood next to her and watched her breastfeed every time for the entire time of those 30 and 10 minute durations. She also testified that Westley did ingest her breast milk but that it had accidently squirted in his mouth, and that she told the other teacher present not to prepare an incident report because she thought it would be better that they only tell the mother in person, and not by way of a piece of paper.
This incident has been severely traumatic to me and my family, not only because my son was violated by a trusted caregiver and ingested her bodily fluids in his classroom where he was supposed to be kept safe, but the fact that there are not any laws specific to the actions to bring the teacher to justice. There is nothing in the law the prevents childcare workers from exposing themselves while breastfeeding in public or schools if they decline the use of a lactation room and prefer to nurse and express milk in the classroom, nor the transfer of bodily fluids by a childcare worker to a child and the failure to report it, nor the breastfeeding of someone else’s child without parental consent. We feel there needs to be since these things do happen as we have learned, and some infections and diseases can be transmitted through breast milk.
We never want another family to have to go through what we have for almost 2 years now trying to get justice so we can start healing, so I am asking for your help to ensure that it does not, and to please consider creating legislation that will prevent breastfeeding a child that is not your own without parental consent, protect a child from indecent exposure by a caregiver while breastfeeding by enforcing the California Lactation Accommodate Law, Civil Code §§ 1030-1034 and protect them from the exposure to and ingestion of a caregivers bodily fluids with a requirement to report such an incident if it does occur.
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