Unsplash | Kelly Sikkema

Mom Angered After Professor Forbids Her From Breastfeeding During Virtual Class

I'm not sure if you've noticed, but life is not normal right now.

The year 2020 is three-quarters through and the number of mind-boggling, world-shifting things that have happened can no longer be counted on my fingers.

Most of us realize that these are strange, unprecedented times, and the old ways of doing things just doesn't work anymore.

Which is why a college professor's reaction to the reality of virtual learning appears so out of line.

In a perfect world, a person learning from home would have a distraction-free environment, an ergonomic work station, and a crystal clear internet connection, but we don't live in a perfect world.

For new mom Marcella Mares, virtual learning means taking care of her 10-month-old daughter at the same time.

New parents know that infants need to have their meals regularly, and nursing moms are particularly aware of this fact. Modern life requires a complicated dance of carefully timed errands, pumping, and an in-depth knowledge of every breastfeeding-friendly business in the neighborhood.

In some ways, virtual learning would make many of those complications much easier. Marcella would be home and her baby could feed easily when needed.

However, near the end of September, her Fresno City College professor informed the class of a rule change.

He said that for attendance purposes, cameras and microphones would be required to stay on for all students during class.

Marcella didn't balk at the rule entirely, but responded that she would need to turn off the camera and mic when class time corresponded with breastfeeding her daughter.

Which seems like a perfectly good compromise to me.

His response: "It's not what you should be doing. Just do that after class."

Facebook | Marcella Mares

As though she can control the timing of when her baby is hungry.

He also doesn't seem to understand that if she were to wait, the baby would cry, and since the microphones are required to be on, that too would disrupt the class.

To say Marcella was pretty pissed when she logged into class later is an understatement, but it's the professor's next action that put her over the edge.

He opened the class with an announcement Marcella paraphrased as, "I got this really weird email from a student stating she needed to do inappropriate things during lecture time.

"You guys need to understand that you have priorities now and you need to put all those distractions aside or be creative when your child needs you and give your full attention in my class."

To prove that she could be focusing on a lecture while feeding her baby, Marcella shared a photo on Facebook along with the story.

Facebook | Marcella Mares

"I didn’t want to post this picture because I just wanted it for me," she said, "but I just wanted to show that I CAN focus in class WHILE breastfeeding my child."

Marcella then took the entire issue to her school's Title IX coordinator.

In the end, she received an apology from the school and professor, and permission to breastfeed her baby as needed with the camera and microphone off.

Marcella hopes that the school takes more action in the future.

h/t: CNN

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