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LACMA Security Guard Unleashes Sh*tstorm by Asking Breastfeeding Mom to Cover Up
Well, L.A., the breastfeeding wars have finally landed on our soil.
It began innocently enough. On the afternoon of May 5, Katie Jane Hamilton, a young mom from Redondo Beach, was visiting LACMA with her family when she realized it was time for her 21-month-old daughter to nap. She began nursing the child to sleep -- and that's when, she says, a female security guard walked up to her and asked her to cover up.
According to Hamilton's Facebook page -- to which she has taken to tell her story and rally the mommy-troops -- she informed the guard that it was her right to breastfeed in public. The guard repeated the request, saying, "Listen, a couple complained, so you need to cover up."
Hamilton asserts that she responded as follows:
"You listen, Ofelia [the guard's name was allegedly Ofelia], you don't know who you are talking to here, I will have 100+ mothers here next week to protest."
Ofelia left, but Hamilton was undeterred. She asked to speak to Ofelia's supervisor, then headed to an information booth with her qualm, where she says she was offered a conciliatory coffee table book and asked nicely to not stage a nurse-in.
LACMA, meanwhile, has said from the get-go that the employee in question made a mistake. Hamilton herself says that when she spoke to Ofelia's supervisor, he politely informed her that employees weren't really told how to deal with breastfeeding moms. And on Facebook, LACMA issued the following statement to Hamilton:
On behalf of LACMA, I want to take this opportunity to apologize for your experience this weekend. Our policy when it comes to breastfeeding (and everything else) is absolutely to follow the letter of the law. The request made to you by our guard was the mistake of an individual who was ill-informed—it was not reflective of our institutional policy or family-friendly values.
That being said, it is my job to make sure our staff are properly informed, so we are talking to all of our guards and staff today to make sure they understand the law—and how very much we value our visiting families.
And her supporters are ready to whip out their teats to send LACMA a message. One suggests "A nursing flash-mob! All over the city :-)"
Another well-wisher writes "good for you for bringing attention to the rights of babies to get nourished when they need to!"
Maybe LACMA should consider embracing the coming protest. After all, a huge public nurse-in would be kind of like...performance art.