Misty Daugereaux was breast-feeding her 10-month-old son while her 4-year-old son and 4-year-old nephew were swimming on Sunday at Nessler Park Family Aquatic Center in Texas City, Texas, outside Galveston.
Texas law states, “A mother is entitled to breast-feed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be.” However, the law does not say whether mothers may be asked to nurse in private.
But that apparently didn’t matter to the nosy city pool staff and the responding police officer.
As Daugereaux was breast-feeding, a lifeguard approached her and asked whether she was breast-feeding. She said when she told him “yes,” he said, “You can’t do that here.” Daugereaux said that when she told him that she was within her legal rights to breast-feed there, the lifeguard got the manager, who told her it was against “pool policy”.
But the manager refused to show Daugereaux this so-called pool policy and Daugereaux refused to leave the pool. So then someone called the police and the whole incident was caught on bodycam video.
The officer told Daugereaux she had to leave the property not because she was breast-feeding but because she cussed at the pool employees. Then, when he was alone and speaking to management of the pool, he said:
“You can’t just have your ti***es out everywhere. I mean I get that you got to feed your kid, that’s all fine and dandy, but go sit under a blanket or something.”
“That comment took me aback,” Daugereaux told The Washington Post about the officer’s remark that she should have covered up. “I thought he was there to defuse the situation. He himself did not understand the laws of breast-feeding. He himself did not have compassion for breast-feeding mothers.”
But women around the county are rallying her in her support and staged a “nurse-in” on Monday at the pool to exercise their right to breast-feed wherever they wanted.