WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTVR) –Students at American University remain divided over a controversy that’s been ignited on campus over the past several weeks: was it appropriate for a professor to breastfeed her child in the middle of class?
It happened two weeks ago, but students are still talking about it–and now Professor Adrienne Pine has taken to her blog to defend herself.
The breast-feeding incident happened in a class called “Sex, Gender and Culture.”
Pine says she didn’t want to cancel the first day of the class because her daughter was sick.
In a post written after Pine was contacted by American’s student newspaper, she wrote that due to the incident, her workplace had become a hostile environment, and said she was shocked and annoyed that this would become newsworthy.
Pine told WJLA in Washington, D.C. she wasn’t allowed to comment.
Sophomore Nia McCarthy was in the class when the incident and says she didn’t think it was that big of a deal.
“She had to finish the class,” McCarthy said. “She let us know that she was about to, so I wasn’t too surprised. I think she handled it in the most professional way that she could.”
But not all students agree.
“I feel like it was really unprofessional of her,” said Jeff Williams, a student not in the class. “I feel like she should have at least stepped out of the room.”
Others said it wasn’t necessarily the breastfeeding that they found out of place.
“I think what’s inappropriate is that she brought her child to class in the first place,” said Sarah Mireles. “It’s very distracting to a lot of the students.”
The University told WJLA it doesn’t have a policy on breast-feeding but it does give new mothers breaks and a private place to pump breast milk.