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Why didn't we get national coverage (uncoverage?) In 2011?

By JIM BUSEK • Jun 18, 2019 at 10:00 AM

A story that made national news last week concerned a woman who got kicked out of a public swimming pool in Texas for breast feeding her baby. Little did we know that here in Norwalk we were on the cutting edge of such things. In August, 2011 we had a similar incident at the Rec Center pool. Here’s the (slightly edited) story I wrote about it at the time.

You probably saw the recent story in this newspaper headlined “Woman Says She Was Harassed For Breastfeeding Son At City Pool.”

Like you, I have stayed abreast of this incident and have many thoughts and questions about it.

For starters, isn’t it something that a story such as this would be a front page item? In most of the world, breastfeeding a baby in public is no bigger news than watering a garden.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the woman was busted at the Ernsthausen pool last summer for similar exposure while feeding a baby.

That makes it look like she may have just been testing the rules about giving the girls some air and giving the baby some nourishment in a public setting again this year.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to knock her.

Among the things for which I am known to show tolerance, bare breasts are near the top of the list.

Okay, I’m not good at all with man boobs but you catch my drift: this is a country where we have a right to bear arms, why not bare breasts.

And I am guessing that even the pool patrons “who left in a huff” have been at one time or another breast feeders themselves, either giving or receiving.

But perhaps those individuals somehow figured out what apparently eluded our breast-feeding mama: how to get less attention feeding a baby at the pool than the cannonballing kid who is yelling “Hey look at me!”

Maybe all the others — pool officials, city officials, uptight pool patrons — are the real boobs that made this such a big deal.

After all, the lead sentence of the newspaper story about this incident was: “For the second time in two years, (a woman) said she was harassed by officials at the city pool in Norwalk…”

I don’t follow that at all. What does “harass” have to do with anything? And isn’t that supposed to be two words?

At any rate, after law director Stuart O’Hara looks into this matter, do you think somebody will get canned?

Ohio law says a woman may breastfeed her baby in any place of public access that she’s otherwise permitted. On the other hand, the aquatic center has regulations about proper attire. It would seem the rules balance each other, tit for tat.

This will all become moot, of course, when the Ernsthausen pool closes for the season later this month.

The good news is that the pool closing will occur at almost the same time as the Melon Festival, a place which even sounds like it would welcome breast feeders.

Maybe I will see you (and them!) there.

In the meantime, ta-ta for now.


Jim Busek is a free-lance writer who lives in Norwalk. He can be reached via e-mail at jimbusek@ hotmail.com.

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