Theresa Phillips flipped out her phone and started to record when she was approached in an “unfriendly” manner while breastfeeding on Kiva Elementary School’s playground during recess.
In the clip Assistant Principal, Matt Gromek confronted the nursing mother during a scheduled visit to her daughter’s fourth-grade class last week.
There were first-graders playing right near the mom, and a confrontation ensued when school officials offered Phillips the option of feeding in a private area, reports AZ Central.
Phillips said she wasn’t breaking any rules, so she didn’t see a problem with staying right there on the playground. The mom asked in the video:
“You can send me into a different room? I don’t need privacy.”
Gromek responded, “I would prefer that.”
Watch the video below:
Matt Gromek harasses a mother nursing her 9 week old infant.If you ARE or know someone who is a local nursing mother, please join us as we feed our children. See the event in the comments. Kiva Elementary Family Friendly Nurse-in.
Posted by Theresa Phillips on Thursday, April 4, 2019
The upset mother concluded the video by stating that she had the right to breastfeed anywhere in public without being shamed for public indecency. She said:
“I am feeding my child, it’s completely legal in a public environment. You are making a huge mistake. You should apologize right now.”
“I am so upset right now. All of these children’s lives right now are being disrupted, because you personally are uncomfortable.”
She wrote on Facebook in response to the incident:
Matt Gromek harasses a mother nursing her 9 week old infant.
In the comments section of her post, Phillips asked her followers to share the video because “this has to stop.” She also staged a nurse-in to protest on behalf of nursing mothers.
In a statement, the Scottsdale Unified School District told News 12, that school staff never asked Phillips to stop feeding her child. Officials simply offered her a private place to nurse:
She was simply offered an alternative space because they recognized that not all activities are age-appropriate.
The backlash that followed the video sparked a conversation about moms breastfeeding on school playgrounds. One mom who supported Phillips wrote:
I hope your daughter wasn’t negatively affected at school now by kids thinking this is something to shame a mother about or some scandalous act. They made a huge spectacle when most the kids were happily playing, completely oblivious to the hungry baby.
However, another parent slammed her actions:
I’m not a mama shamer but she is at a school park with a bunch of other little kids who might not even see their own parents naked. I wore 2 tops and never let all hang out around others kids. Still respect other people’s kids? Not just stand up for yours?
Should the parent visiting the school, have breastfed her infant in view of a group of young children during recess?
Watch the video below:
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Tiffani is a writer for Dearly. She is from New York City. Prior to working for Dearly she covered fashion news and managed social media for various digital media outlets.