Mom Receives Scathing Letter for Breastfeeding ... at a Boy Scouts Meeting

Mom shares Boy Scout letter shaming her for breastfeeding

One of the benefits of youth organizations is the amazing learning opportunities they provide children. From wilderness survival skills to serving their neighborhood, kids who participate in these clubs tend to become more well-rounded. This makes you scratch your head as to why a Boy Scouts troop shamed a breastfeeding mom with such a crummy letter.

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It's okay if your blood is starting to boil for Jasmine Millar. (Lord knows mine is.)

The Tennessee mom of three was not only told to cover up during one of her sons' Boy Scouts of America meetings -- even though the Breastfeeding Mama Talk Facebook group says Mom used the "two-shirt method" to breastfeed covered -- but also received this passive-aggressive letter from the organization:

To sum up this craziness, here's what the Boy Scouts of America Middle Tennessee Council had to say:

While you absolutely have the legal right to breastfeed in public and we support that right, there are those in your son's Troop who are uncomfortable. When you choose to nurse your baby uncovered and/or in the same room as the Scouts, it causes disruption.

The letter later ends with:

We ask you to please help us find a compromise which will help all feel more comfortable. Might you consider wearing a cover or stepping into a different room from the Scouts when breastfeeding your infant child during Scout meetings and activities? All families and volunteers in attendance have one main purpose of the meeting, which is to provide a positive Scouting experience to young boys. Perhaps this concession to those with different views can get this unit back on track. Parents respecting one another's personal boundaries is a good lesson for boys to observe.

More from The Stir: 10 Ways to Say 'I'm Sorry for Breastfeeding in Public' (Not)

*Sighs*

I like to consider myself someone who tries to see both sides of an argument in order to come to a compromise ... but this is a bit ridiculous.

For starters, I hope this Boy Scouts council sent personal letters to every parent who said he or she had an issue with this mother. Rather than single out Jasmine, as if she committed some lewd act, there does need to be some dialogue about this incident -- but one that doesn't involve shaming Mom for nursing her child.

"All families and volunteers in attendance have one main purpose of the meeting, which is to provide a positive Scouting experience to young boys."

What a kind slap in the face.

As a mom of 2- and 1-year-old boys, I'm so over how this letter scolds Jasmine in an "appropriate for the office" kind of way. To imply young boys would have anything but a positive experience being in the presence of a breastfeeding mother is very insulting. I highly doubt this mother was standing in front of the room swinging her breast out for the sake of progress and understanding, so let's stop making Mom feel like these boys can't concentrate on earning their merit badges because she's nursing a child.

More from The Stir: Breastfeeding in Public Is Not the Same Thing as Sex

I understand society has an issue with public breastfeeding, even though we're more than okay with sexualized images. Maybe this is why I used a cover when I would breastfeed my boys in public. (I was well aware of the controversy along with the disapproving eyes I knew would be watching.) Even now, my oldest doesn't stop and stare at his little brother during nursing time. It's not a big deal to him, and shouldn't be to anyone else.

This Boy Scouts troop should have used this incident as an opportunity to stand behind a legal right, instead of making a mother who chooses to do so a public disgrace. No, there doesn't need to be an anatomy class for these young boys, but rather a chat with parents about the importance of not making nursing a baby such a big deal.

I still remain hopeful we can one day get to the point when breastfeeding in public isn't some huge thing. Until then, I cross my fingers no new mother feels embarrassed, to the point of cowering somewhere, for the sake of civility and not wanting to cause "disruption."

 

 

 

 

Image via Emily Berryhill/Facebook

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