Well-meaning optimistic friends who care about me have asked, "Was she just trying to be helpful?" I wish, but no. For one thing, I didn't need any help. I've been nursing babies for years, and I've got it covered (yes - both the breastfeeding, and the breast).
On September 5th near 9am I was in the deserted lobby of my sons' Austin ISD elementary school, where my middle child is in drop-in speech therapy. I sat on a bench with my tired, fussy, hungry baby, waiting for therapy to end and my son to be brought back to me in the lobby at 9:00. I nursed my baby to sleep. I was, as I always am, very discreet. Occasionally someone walked by - custodians, teachers, students, parents. Most of them were not likely to be aware that I was breastfeeding and not merely holding a sleeping infant.
A teacher noticed, though, and complained to the principal. The principal stuck her head out of the office door and told me to move to her conference room. I declined.
I don't remember our exact words, so I'm NOT quoting, but the conversation went a little something like this:
Principal: Mrs. Donmoyer, come on into my private conference room, please.
Me (figuring I know why but expecting her to spell it out, probably sounding to her like I'm playing dumb): Your conference room?
Principal: So the children aren't watching.
Me (looking around, gesturing to the empty lobby): What children?
Principal: Just come to my conference room.
Me (livid, civil but cold as I very discreetly unlatched my sleeping child, knowing my legal right and knowing that I need wait to address this with her later when I'm not so furious): He's finished.
Principal: My conference room is almost always available to you.
Me: (cold, biting my tongue): Thank you.
I walked home with my sons not much later, fighting back tears. I sought the support of my friends on Facebook and my parenting community on BigTent. And I began writing a letter to my principal.