Did you guys hear about this? I saw this update on the Huffington Post today – the Kansas City Star reported that Missouri mother Laura Trickle, mom of 7-month-old Axel, is being held in contempt of court for bringing her breastfed baby to court.
Trickle was initially summoned for jury duty on August 9th. At that time, she reported to the judge that she was a stay-at-home mom and was exclusively nursing her son, meaning she was unable to leave him for long periods of time. But, according to the Kansas City Star, “She soon received notice that she must report to court as well as arrange for child care or bring somebody with her who could care for the child during jury selection. On Sept. 3, she ‘willfully and contemptuously appeared for jury service with her child and no one to care for the child,’ according to the court order that soon arrived.”
The presiding judge, Judge Marco Rolda, told the Kansas City Star that a nursing mother in Missouri has two options for completing her civic duty: she may take breaks to pump and store breastmilk to be given to her infant later, or she may bring a caregiver to the courthouse to watch her baby during proceedings so the mother can take breaks to breastfeed throughout the day. Trickle says her baby won’t take a bottle and she has no one to ask to help her with childcare, hence why she showed up for jury duty with her baby in tow.
Trickle now has to report to a hearing on Thursday and face the judge.
Quite frankly, I’m flabbergasted that this mother is being slapped with court penalties. Seriously, this is just whack. Judge Marco Roldan just assumes that a breastfeeding mother of a small baby can switch from nursing to bottle feeding with no issue. Well, I can tell him from experience that it’s not easy. (Maybe he’d like to come try to feed my screaming, hungry breastfed baby a bottle and see how well it goes.) And I also empathize with Trickle about the childcare issue. When I had my first baby, I was a stay-at-home mom with no family or friends nearby, so I had no convenient or trusted childcare at my fingertips. I probably would have shown up at court with my baby, too. After all, that was my full-time job and my boss/baby wasn’t going to let me take a day off!
What do you think? Should this breastfeeding mom be exempt from jury duty?
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