Monthly Archives: November 2014

An Open Letter to Maegan Shoemaker: Public Breastfeeding Is Only the Tip of the Iceberg

You’ve probably heard about Maegan Shoemaker by now. Maegan is the 25-year-old Niceville, Florida,  mom recently banned from Plew Elementary School for asserting her right to breastfeed her 8 ½ month-old daughter in public. I would love to have interviewed Maegan for this story, as I dislike pulling information off the internet. Unfortunately, I was unable to reach her through newspaper sources or Facebook.

Maegan Shoemaker and daugther Arya. Photo by NICK TOMECEK | Daily News

Maegan Shoemaker and daugther Arya. Photo by NICK TOMECEK | Daily News

According to a Nov. 6, 2014, story in, Maegan was breastfeeding her baby at an outdoor school event when Principal Carolyn McAllister reproached her for it.

Meagan said she had been using her baby carrier to shield herself while nursing on the top bleacher. She later entered the school to inform the principal that Florida law protected her right to feed her baby in public, even without a cover.  After leaving the building, a school resource officer approached her with a “no trespass” order, banning her from the school attended by her niece and nephew.

On Monday, Nov. 10, however, the paper reported that McAllister had rescinded the ban. “It was my decision,” McAllister said. “I want this to go away because we need to focus on what we do best, which is educating our students and taking care of their well-being.”

As a mother – and now grandmother – who is passionate about breastfeeding, I decided to write Maegan this open letter…

Dear Maegan,

You remind me a lot of myself when I was younger.  Walking into the principal’s office and asserting one’s right to breastfeed in public is something I would have done – and without batting an eyelash. I wasn’t just passionate about breastfeeding. I was militant.

But you know, public breastfeeding may not be

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