When you were in high school, were you in one of those classes where you had to carry around a fake “baby”? An egg or other food item? You and your partner would dress it and take turns caring for it through band or basketball practices. It was to teach us the responsibility it takes to have children.
Because that sack of flour in a basket did a really convincing impression of a screaming infant. Maybe a bit more realistic would have been helpful.
A Melbourne high school canceled a live breastfeeding demo for a life cycles class. Sarah Simmonds, a volunteer from the Australian Breastfeeding Association’s community education program, was to breastfeed her 4-month-old son in front of the class at Hume Central Secondary College in Broadmeadows.
But when she arrived, she was surprised to discover that the teens in the class didn’t have parental permission, so they couldn’t watch the breastfeeding demo.
Because–you know–we wouldn’t want to expose our teens to the indecency of natural infant food, straight from tap.
In a world where wardrobe malfunctions and the popularity of Brittney Spears are totally acceptable, somehow breastfeeding isn’t appropriate without parental permission.
Our message was it’s natural and you can do it anywhere – except here. It was such a mixed message for the kids. We were trying to convey that this is something that every mum should be able to do and every child should have the opportunity to be breastfed and that we shouldn’t have to think about where we are and whether it’s appropriate.
According to Babble Australia,
Principal Glenn Proctor said he had to be “sensitive” to all the nationalities at the school and he felt parental consent was necessary before children could watch a woman breastfeed her baby.
But…breastfeeding in public isn’t even illegal! And–get this—Ms. Simmonds was allowed to demonstrate how to bathe the infant. So apparently infant genitalia is appropriate for high schoolers, but a nursing mother is not.
Now the next question: what would the school have done if Simmons’ son got hungry during her visit? Find the appropriate bathroom, so no one would have to witness that atrocity?
Image: Daquella manera on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.
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