Breast feeding mom says she was disciplined for pumping breast milk during class

Breast feeding mom says she was disciplined for pumping breast milk during class

WESTLAND,Mich. (WXYZ) - There is nothing Ashley McPherson would not do for her 4-month-old son Austin, including around the clock pumping for the breast milk fed baby.

The doting mother is a student at Henry Ford Community College who hopes to get certified to become a nurse's assistant.

The 20-year-old told 7 Action News in Detroit that one of her classes lasts from 9 a.m.  to 3 p.m.

One day, toward the end of September, she decided to pump her milk during class, in the back of the room, after her breasts became engorged and painful.

"I wasn't flaunting," said Ashley. "I was covered from head to knee basically. The lab coat was pretty big. It covers your whole body."

According to Ashley, at one point in front of other students her female instructor told her, "Your boobs were all lopsided."

Ashley said later that instructor approached the new mom with a Discipline Behavior Form, telling her pumping in class was inappropriate.

The instructor ordered her to sign the form.

"And [she said] I should have known not to do that and I told her 'No, I'm allowed to.' I was completely covered, nobody told me they were uncomfortable and she started getting into my face," said Ashley. "She said since you are not going to be signing this, this is borderline sexual harassment."

A school spokesperson said the instructor showed Ashley a private room where she could pump, but the next day, Ashley decided to pump in the classroom instead.

According to Ashley the room was locked and no one had a key.

The college is currently reviewing the situation.

They released this statement:

The instructor waited until the class ended to discuss the situation with the student and again provide information about where she could pump in private and without distraction. The student at that time claimed Michigan Law permits her to pump in public.

Ashley, who hopes to provide for her son by becoming a nurse one day, told 7 Action News she is being told she has to sign this form or she will be suspended.

Now, the mom's and her bouncing baby boy's futures are up in the air.

"I felt discriminated against," said Ashley. "I felt belittled how they were talking to me. They were knocking down my character. They were treating me like I was a criminal."

She adds that with long class hours, she was just trying to keep up her milk so she can feed her child.

Meanwhile, her certification is limbo, so it is not clear whether she will become a nurses assistant.

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