A mother in Texas City, Texas, says she was “ashamed” after city pool employees resorted to calling the police in order to kick her out over breastfeeding her son in public.
According to reporting from CNN, mothers have a legally recognized right to breastfeed their children “in any location in which the mother is authorized to be.”
Misty Daugereaux, however, was not afforded that right over the weekend.
On Sunday, Daugereaux brought her 4-year-old son, her nephew, and her 10-month-old son Maxx to the Nessler Family Aquatic Center in Texas City. While there, her son became hungry, so she decided to breastfeed him in a subtle way, as she explained it.
“I had a small slit in my top, so I slid it over so he could nurse,” Daugereaux told reporters with KHOU in Houston.
After she began feeding her son, a lifeguard came over to tell her she needed to stop. She kept feeding, after which time a manager soon came over to tell her to cease doing so. Later, the manager called a police officer, who told Daugereaux she had to leave the premises for breaking the pool’s rules.
The manager had told the officer that Daugereaux had taken both of her breasts out of her swimsuit in plain site, and had hurled verbal vulgarities toward employees when she was told to cover up. Daugereaux denied the characterizations of her, but not wanting to make a scene in front of her children and nephew, decided to comply and leave.
The officer seemed sympathetic to Daugereaux at first, explaining he was simply enforcing the rules. Later, body camera footage revealed the officer made disparaging remarks about her to pool employees.
“You can’t just have your titties out everywhere, I mean I get that you gotta feed your kid, that’s all fine and dandy, but go sit under a blanket or something,” he said.
Daugereaux later took to social media to express her frustrations. “I’m so hurt, embarrassed and ashamed that this is what Texas City stands for,” she wrote on Facebook.
She wasn’t alone. On Monday, a group of mothers came to the pool to show their solidarity with Daugereaux, staging a “feed-in” at the aquatic center to protest her treatment.
The city eventually recognized the errors, too, and released a statement apologizing to Daugereaux:
“We, the City of Texas City are reviewing the nursing concerns raised at the Nessler Pool and how it was addressed by our staff. We apologize to Misty Daugereaux as it is clear she was offended by how she was treated at our City Facility. City policies and procedures will be reviewed and revised as deemed necessary. Any deficiencies regarding our employee’s actions will be addressed with further training”
Watch video from the officer’s bodycam below:
Featured image via screen grab
Featured image via Facebook