Hadley Barrows didn’t take kindly to being kicked out of the Minneapolis Central Library. Especially because she wasn’t doing anything wrong.
Barrows was asked to leave the library for breastfeeding her son, despite Minnesota laws making it permissible to breastfeed in public.
A library security guard asked Barrows to move to a private location, and a librarian also told Barrows that she could not breastfeed in the library’s atrium. In an interview with WCCO-TV, Barrows said she was told that she ”was either going to have to take it outside or go in the bathroom. [The guard] said, you’re not even covered up, you’re just showing everyone: indecent exposure.”
On her blog, Barrows described her frustration at the incident:
This shouldn’t have happened because nursing in public is legal in Minnesota. But regardless, it happened.
I am trying not to be too dramatic about this. Being harassed for nursing in public is something most moms experience at least once. But I feel like being dramatic because I’ve never been so mad before in my life. I’ve never felt so much heat behind my ears or known with such certainty that my entire neck and head were the color of fire.
According t0 the library, the guard did check with a Hennepin County law enforcement official, who explained that Barrows wasn’t doing anything wrong. But the guard never told Barrows that she could stay.
According to WCCO-TV, the library said they would use the incident as a “teachable moment.”
“We basically sent the memo out to all of our staff, just reminding them of what the details of the law involve so that we don’t run into that kind of a situation again,” said Kirk Simmons, the Hennepin County Library security manager.
Barrows wrote that she saw the affair as a blessing in disguise.
“I knew it happened to me because I would do something about it,” she wrote. “I knew I would try hard to raise awareness about the law and make a difference for babies and moms who specialize in breastfeeding in public.”
Image Credit: Aurimas Mikalauskas