The pandemic has caused a multitude of issues for students and teachers. Whether it’s adjusting to virtual learning or figuring out how to simultaneously teach students in class and online, it hasn’t been an easy year for anyone in education.
Shortly after her school year began, Marcella Mares received an email from one of her professors at Fresno City College regarding a new rule that required students to have their cameras and microphones on to count for their attendance.
While Mares had no issues with the rule, she stated she’d need to occasionally turn it off to breastfeed her 10-month-old daughter.
“I am glad to hear that you can have your camera and microphone on, but please do not breastfeed your daughter during class time because it is not what you should be doing,” the professor replied. “Just do that after class.”
Understandably, Mares was upset.
“I didn’t like the feeling of him telling me what I can and can’t do with my baby, especially in my own home because school is online right now,” she told CNN.
But to make matters worse, during class, which she showed up 30 minutes late to, her professor spoke about their private email in front of everyone.
“The first thing he says to the whole class in our zoom meeting was ‘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.'”
Mares reached out to her school’s Title IX coordinator and several days after the rude email, the professor emailed her an apology.
“California law requires that schools accommodate students for conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth including lactation,” Fresno City College Public Information Officer Kathy Bonilla said. “The accommodation includes providing the time away from class to breastfeed without academic penalty.”
Mares, who dropped the class due to unrelated issues, has not had any issues breastfeeding her daughter in any other classes.
What are your thoughts? Everyone knows when a baby is hungry, they need to eat. They can’t wait until after class.
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