Today, there was a nationwide nurse-in(even extending into Canada!), of all the Hollister stores within malls. At 3PM, women all over the United States and part of Canada plopped down beside Hollister entrances and breastfed their babies. It wasn't so cut and dry for all of the locations that held nurse-ins, though.
In Concord Mall of Wilmington, Delaware, there were 3 mothers that were approached by mall security, telling them that what they were doing was indecent exposure and that "if they exposed themselves again, they would be removed." A cop showed up, asking if there was any problem. He left without issuing any citation because the laws states that they could breastfeed anywhere they were permitted to be, which the security guards were not educated on.
(left officer, middle Jessica Hitchens, right, mall security)
After all was said and done, no one was written tickets, no one had to leave. But it still had to be said that these women were harassed! Since these nurse-ins formulated from one Facebook event page, this incident was reported right back to the page. The mall's Facebook Business page was pulled up and a few mothers (myself included) wrote our thoughts down on their wall. I was able to get screenshots of what was said by one mother and what the mall then responded with.
(one mother wrote on their wall, mall responds and I write a comment) photo property of Naturo-Mommy
Only 4 minutes later, Michelle, the mother that posted, captured this photo of all the comments before they started getting deleted by Concord Mall.
Photo credit and property of Michelle DeanRuben
The person in charge of the mall's Facebook page then starts writing expletives, shocking hundreds of people, after seeing it saying, "It was an eyesore" and "Hope you guys don't mind if I suck my wife's breast in public."
These actions were not only distasteful and uneducated, but they were downright unprofessional. Being labelled a non-breastfeeding friendly establishment is not a good thing! After this fiasco, the mall deletes their Facebook page and insists that there never was a Facebook page, despite proof of there being one and having a widget on their website for their Facebook page.
Photo courtesy of Rachelle Lesteshen
Now there is most likely to be another nurse-in for the mall instead of that Hollister store because they were not educated on laws, had no policies in place to protect breastfeeding mothers, they insisted these women be punished by being given citations for indecent exposure, there was no apology and when the incident came to light and the mall saw, they not only did not apologize, they made lewd, uneducated comments about their wife's breast and the act of feeding children. Concord Mall of Wilmington, DE, we wouldn't be so upset if you would educate your staff and be professional and if you wouldn't lie and try to cover it up.
Even if you lose a bit of face, people will respect you again if you apologize and right this horrible wrong.