Breast-feed­ing mother asked to leave res­tau­rant

The Covington News - - Front page - AM­BER PITTMAN apittman@cov­news.

A Dou­glasville woman was re­port­edly asked to leave a Cov­ing­ton res­tau­rant re­cently af­ter she re­fused to leave the ta­ble to breast-feed her 20-month-old son.

Dawn Hol­land was breast-feed­ing her son Con­nor, in a booth at the Cov­ing­ton Ap­ple­bee’s when she was ap­proached by the man­ager who sug­gested she fin­ished feed­ing her baby in the bath­room or leave.

Cov­ing­ton po­lice were called and met Hol­land out­side of the res­tau­rant when she was leav­ing. She re­port­edly told them she had been asked to leave be­cause she was breast-feed­ing. Po­lice then spoke with the man­ager who al­legedly agreed and said she did have a con­ver­sa­tion with Hol­land and had asked her to leave.

Cov­ing­ton Capt. Ken Mal­com said no of­fi­cial re­port was taken as the in­ci­dent was not a crim­i­nal mat­ter.

Hol­land, who could not be reached di­rectly, told 11Alive that she tried ex­plain­ing her right to breast-feed in pub­lic, as Ge­or­gia is one of 45 states that have laws which pro­tect the right for moth­ers to nurse any­where.

Ac­cord­ing to Ge­or­gia code sec­tion 31-1-9: “The breast-feed­ing of a baby is an im­por­tant and ba­sic act of nur­ture which should be en­cour­aged in the in­ter­ests of ma­ter­nal and child health. A mother may breast-feed her baby in any lo­ca­tion where the mother and baby are oth­er­wise au­tho­rized to be.”

In re­sponse to the is­sue Ap­ple­bee’s cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fice had this to say: “We’re in the busi­ness of wel­com­ing guests to our restau­rants and our

top pri­or­ity is al­ways to pro­vide a friendly and com­fort­able en­vi­ron­ment for ev­ery­one, in­clud­ing nurs­ing moth­ers who have the right to nurse in pub­lic. This was an un­for­tu­nate mis­un­der­stand­ing and we hope the guest will give us an­other chance to demon­strate that to her per­son­ally.”

Hol­land is cur­rently be­ing rep­re­sented by the Rashidi Law Firm in Ma­ri­etta. While she could not be reached as of press time, Hol­land’s at­tor­ney was will­ing to set up an in­ter­view for Hol­land to tell her story. Check back on this story as it de­vel­ops.

The As­so­ci­ated Press con­trib­uted to this re­port.

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