Fresno City College is apologizing after a professor asked a student not to breastfeed her 10-month-old baby during an online class, even off camera. The student, Marcella Mares, told CNN that the professor mandated that students turn on their cameras and microphones during class sessions. In response, Mares emailed the professor to say that she would need to turn off the features when she was feeding her child.
“I am glad to hear that you can have your camera and microphone on, but please do not breastfeed your daughter during class time because it is not what you should be doing,” the male instructor reportedly replied. “Just do that after class.” The instructor also reportedly announced to the class later that day that he’d received a “weird” email from a student who’d asked about doing “inappropriate” things during class.
Uncomfortable with the directive about when to feed her baby in her own home during a pandemic, and with being “outed” in front of her peers, Mares complained to the college. The instructor, whom CNN did not name, subsequently apologized to Mares via email. Mares has since dropped the class for unrelated reasons. A spokesperson for the college told CNN that the student’s rights were affirmed and that the instructor was previously unaware of California law requiring accommodations for breastfeeding students.