Mom kicked out of library for breastfeeding

Published On: Thursday, November 22, 12:10 PM
By: Shifra Unger
Mother Hadley Barrows told to stop breastfeeding in the library
(Scroll down for video) A Minneapolis mother is speaking after a security guard told her to leave the library because she was breastfeeding in public.

It happened recently at the Minneapolis Central Library. However, Minnesota law says that a mother can breastfeed anywhere, public or private. Hennepin County Security says it is turning this as an example this time as a learning experience for their employees.

Mother Hadley Barrows said she considers it a privilege to nurse. Although it is not always easy.
"Obstacles are sufficient for nursing, as it is, without people who make you feel like a criminal for doing it," she said.

According to Barrows, who was breastfeeding her child on a bench in the atrium of the Minneapolis Central Library, said she was trying to be discreet when a contract security officer approached her.
"He said she was either going to have to take it outside or go to the bathroom," said Barrows. "He said you're not even covered, you're just showing it all. Indecent exposure"
Barrows says she immediately went to a librarian, who also told her to move somewhere more private.

According to the Hennepin County Security Manager Kirk Simmons, the security agent with which Barrows spoke later found a county police officer, who explained the law.
"The county officer had told her she did not need to move, she could breastfeed wherever she needed," said Simmons.
But Barrows said he never directly told her she could stay. I was so mad," she said.

Hennepin County Safety, said he is trying to use this incident as a teachable moment, that Barrows, said she appreciated.

"Basically, he sent the note to all our staff, just remember what the details of the law involves, not to oppose that kind of situation again," said Simmons.
However, Barrows pointed out one of the ironies of the teachable moment.
"You think of the library as a place of knowledge," she said. "And even in the library they do not know that it is okay to breastfeed her child in public."

The supervisor of the contract security officer was notified of the incident. They say they will continue to monitor their performance.

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