Professor Adrienne Pine put real life meaning into her "Sex, Gender and Culture" course for students on their first day of class.
Pine began to breastfeed her daughter, whom she brought to the class due to the baby being sick. As reported by ABC, controversy has ensued over Professor Pine's decision to nurse her hungry child during a class she was teaching.
As a working mother of two children, I completely understand the dilemma Pine faced when her daugher was sick and she had no options for child care.
I don't, however, understand how she thought taking her sick daughter to work with her and breastfeeding her in front of 40 students was a feasible option.
It is completely irresponsible and unprofessional for a woman, an educator, a professor to take a sick baby to a class and then proceed to breastfeed her in front of everyone.
I am all for a woman's right to feed her child and am very much in agreement with the laws in place to protect those rights, allowing women to nurse in public. I breastfed both of my children.
Professor Pine's actions were wrong. She acted with complete disregard for her students, who are paying for the course she is teaching and not to watch her breastfeed her baby.
This kind of situation is different than those where a woman is nursing in public, at a park or store. In those settings, people who are uncomfortable seeing a woman breastfeeding her child have the option to look the other way and continue walking.
In a setting like her classroom, where Professor Pine is the focal point of all that is going on, those that may have otherwised looked away were not given that option.
Pine could have resolved her crisis in a number of ways. From cancelling class or holding an abbreviated session to excusing herself to nurse or packing breastmilk she pumped in advance, the list of alternative options could goes on and on.
Breastfeeding is the best nourishment for a baby and even moreso when they are sick, but it is unprofessional and inappropriate for someone to take such a personal act and implant it into a professional setting such as a university classroom.