A Texas City mom was forced to leave a public swimming pool over the weekend for breastfeeding her son.
Misty Daugereaux was visiting the Nessler Park Family Aquatic Center in Texas City, Texas Sunday with two 4-year-olds and her 10-month-old son, Maxx.
The Texas mom says she was breastfeeding Maxx when a lifeguard approached her and told her to cover up. When she didn’t comply, the pool manager then told her to follow the pool rules and cover up or leave. When she continued to dare feed her son, a Texas City police officer showed up and escorted her and the three children from the pool.
STAND FOR NOTHING AND YOU’LL FALL FOR ANYTHING!
I got kicked out of Nessler Family Aquatica In TEXAS CITY today for…
Understandably “hurt, embarrassed and ASHAMED,” Daugereaux says she left the pool with tears [pouring] down her face.
In the State of Texas, a mother “is entitled to breast-feed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be,” according to the Texas Health and Safety Code. This means, there was absolutely zero precedent for Daugereaux to be ejected from the pool for breastfeeding.
Outraged by the events that unfolded Sunday, a group of Texas moms gathered at the pool Monday and rallied in support of Daugereaux and mother’s rights.
“I think it’s especially ironic that there are women in swimsuit tops that barely cover their breasts and it’s shameful to see a mother feeding her child?” said Angela Dunn, a mother and grandmother who took part in Monday’s nurse-in. “It doesn’t make sense,” she added.
As the moms rallied Monday, the Texas City Police Department released body camera video taken of the pool incident on Facebook.
The Texas City Police Department is releasing the body camera video taken on June 9, 2019, depicting the events that took place at the Nessler Park Family Aquatic Center located at 1700 5th Ave. N. The faces of juveniles and adults have been blurred from public view to protect their identity.
Posted by Texas City Police Department on Monday, June 10, 2019
In the five-minute video, the pool manager explains to the officer that Daugereaux was “getting outraged” when told to cover up, something the manager [referred] to as the “pool rules,” which she believes includes “something about showing parts of the body.”
She then tells the officer that the breastfeeding mom cussed at the lifeguard who asked her to cover up, something that Daugereaux says is “absolutely not true.”
Through tears, she very calmly informs the officer that she legally has the right to feed her baby — even in a public place — and had tried to explain that to the first lifeguard who initially told her to cover up.
“I figured because he was young he didn’t understand.”
Daugereaux goes on to explain to the officer that when the manager came over and told her she needed to leave, she requested to be shown in the rules where it says she couldn’t breastfeed her baby.
“I don’t stand for a lot, but I will stand for that,” she explained to the officer in the video. “I’m conscious enough to know I don’t want every man in the pool looking at my boobs. But when you have a 10-month-old who doesn’t take a bottle, I’m going to feed him.”
The officer walks over to the pool manager and a lifeguard for further discussion in which the lifeguard says they had gotten several complaints [about Daugereaux breastfeeding], which made them uncomfortable.
After some back and forth the manager finally says, “she can leave.”
The officer tells Daugereaux to pack up her things and leave the pool.
“I don’t understand how it’s right,” Daugereaux said.
“That wasn’t the issue,” the officer says. “The issue was that you were cussing out a lifeguard.”
“So it’s her word against mine that I’m cussing out a lifeguard?” Daugereaux said.
“I wasn’t here so I don’t know,” the officer says. “I’m just telling you that they’re asking that you leave, OK?”
“Yes, sir,” Daugereaux said and gathered up her things.
After she left with her kids, both the manager and the officer made rude parting comments.
“I thought you’re supposed to cover up,” the manager said. “I know people breastfeed and stuff but–“
“That’s all fine and dandy, but just sit in a chair and cover up,” the officer said. “Don’t sit there with both your (expletive) out.”
That hurt the worst, said Daugereaux, who has watched the video.
“I’m completely appalled and heartbroken at the comment the officer made to the manager,” she said. “But I’m ashamed he doesn’t know the law he is honored to uphold. And the word he used to refer to breast is unsettling.”
Texas City responded to the breastfeeding pool incident with an apology on Monday.
“We, the City of Texas City are reviewing the nursing concerns raised at the Nessler Pool and how it was addressed by our staff. We apologize to Misty Daugereaux as it is clear she was offended by how she was treated at our City Facility. City policies and procedures will be reviewed and revised as deemed necessary. Any deficiencies regarding our employee’s actions will be addressed with further training.”
We’re sorry as it is clear she was offended by how she was treated? What a joke of a consolation that comment is, Texas City. How about, “we are sorry that our employees didn’t support your legal right to breastfeed at our facility, in whichever way works best for you and your child,” as the law states.
In her Facebook post, Daugereaux says she’s thankful to the one woman, a stranger at the pool, who stood up for her.
At the nurse-in on Monday, Daugreaux said she appreciated the support of all the mothers who came out to protest.
“I feel powerful, loved and supported, more than I ever could have imagined,” she said.