University won’t change policy despite concern about in-class breastfeeding
(CNN) — There is a new debate going on at American University in Washington DC.
Students are divided on whether it was appropriate for a professor to breastfeed her baby in class. Regardless of the potential dissension it could create among its student body, the university stated Friday that it would not change its policy to prevent the the powder keg of a situation from happening again.
The controversy all started when AU professor Adrienne Pine woke up to her crying baby girl, who had a fever. Pine opted to take her child to class with her, and nursed the youngster when she began to cry — without stopping the lecture.
The details of the situation were all made public when Pine wrote a blog post about it.
Many students at American said they wouldn’t care if a professor breast-fed her baby during class. With Pine having to deal with an ill and fussing child, many students were even more sympathetic.
“If it’s for the child’s health, then it wouldn’t be a big deal to me,” one student said.
“She did what she had to do,” student Nia McCarthy said.
McCarthy, a sophomore, takes Pine’s class and was there when she breast-fed the baby girl.
“She had to finish the class, yeah. She let us know that she was about to, so I wasn’t too surprised. I think she handled it in the most professional way that she could,” she said.
But some students don’t like what Pine did.
“I feel like it was really unprofessional of her, I feel like she should have at least stepped out of the room,” Jeff Williams said.
“I think what’s inappropriate is that she brought her child to class in the first place. It’s very distracting to a lot of the students,” student Sarah Mireles said.
After her blog post, Pine was contacted by American’s student newspaper. Pine wrote another post after the conversation with the paper explaining her workplace had become, “a hostile environment, and is shocked and annoyed this would be considered newsworthy.”
The breast-feeding incident happened in a class called “Sex, Gender and Culture.”
Pine said she didn’t want to cancel the first day of the class because her daughter was sick.