SMART Employees Suspended Over Breastfeeding Flap
TAYLOR (WWJ) – The SMART bus system has disciplined two employees following controversy over a woman who was breastfeeding her baby on the bus.
SMART says a driver and dispatcher have been suspended without pay for not following policy and for using profanity. This, after 32-year-old Afrykahn Moon of Taylor complained about being harassed by the driver.
Smart released a statement, Tuesday, saying it complies with all appropriate federal and state laws.
“As such, SMART supports a mothers right to breastfeed her child. It is our policy to permit this activity on all SMART buses. We have taken the recent complaint very seriously and are investigating the full incident,” the statement reads.
SMART has also promised to remind its 600 drivers that breastfeeding is allowed on buses.
On June 24, Moon began breastfeeding her two-week old son while waiting at the bus stop. When the bus arrived, the driver told Moon she needed to finish nursing before boarding the bus, but Moon demanded her right to breastfeed in public. The driver, a female, refused to leave the bus stop until Moon was finished breastfeeding. Security officers from the nearby Southland Center mall boarded at the next stop and ordered the mother and child off the bus.
On July 1, a few dozen women, babies and dads staged a “nurse-in” outside the SMART Bus Terminal in Troy in a show of support for Moon and the right to nurse in public. Some are pushing for new legislation that would protect nursing mothers from discrimination.