Archive for December, 2006

Emily Gillette

“We don’t take responsibility but we’re kind of sorry”


Airlines ask breast-feeding charges to be dismissed
Published: Friday, December 15, 2006
By Sky Barsch
Free Press Staff Writer

The two airlines involved in an incident that saw a mother kicked off a plane in Burlington in October for breast-feeding have asked the Vermont Human Rights Commission to throw out complaints against them. Emily Gillette of New Mexico filed a complaint with the commission last month. She claimed a flight attendant for Freedom Airlines, operating a commuter flight for Delta Air Lines, had her and her family removed from a flight awaiting departure on the tarmac at Burlington International Airport after Gillette refused to cover up while breast-feeding.

Gillette is arguing that her civil rights were violated because breast-feeding is a right protected by Vermont’s Public Accommodations Law. Freedom Airlines argued in a Monday letter to the Human Rights Commission that the federal Airlines Deregulation Act trumps Vermont’s human rights law, because state law cannot interfere with air carrier service. “Freedom denies having discriminated against the Charging party in any manner whatsoever and specifically denies that any violation of the Vermont Fair Housing and Accommodations Act … has occurred,” Freedom wrote in its response, which was provided by Gillette’s Manchester attorney, Elizabeth Boepple.

The airline, a subsidiary of Mesa Air Group, asked that the complaint be dismissed. Delta Air Lines says that the attendant acted contrary to its policies, but that she was acting as a Freedom Airlines employee, not as an employee of Delta. Delta also asked that the complaint be dismissed. Delta spokeswoman Gina Laughlin said Thursday afternoon that she would let the filing speak for itself, but wanted to reiterate that Delta “fully supports a mother’s right to breast-feed on board our aircraft and that we were disappointed that the decision was made to remove our customer from the airplane.”

Freedom Airlines spokesman Paul Skellon did not immediately return a message seeking comment. “My reaction to their argument is that they have not cited that there is any law to show that there is a federal pre-emption over a state law that establishes a civil right for a breast-feeding mother,” Boepple said.

Gillette said she was discreetly breast-feeding her daughter when a flight attendant ordered her to cover up. Gillette refused, and the attendant allegedly said she was offended and had the Gillettes removed from the plane. The airlines have said the attendant acted contrary to company expectations and was disciplined.

The incident has garnered national and international attention, prompting a “nurse-in” at several airports across the country last month. Robert Appel, executive director of the Vermont Human Rights Commission, cannot say whether complaints are filed with his office unless the commission determines that human rights laws were violated. In general, investigations take between three months and a year, he said. While he couldn’t confirm Gillette’s complaint, he said there has not been another breast-feeding complaint filed with the Human Rights Commission since the law went into effect in 2003.

Contact Sky Barsch at sbarsch@bfp.burlingtonfreepress.com or 660-1861.

Amy’s Poll:

What is the best thing to do to make changes in our society?

  • Educate the public

  • Sue anyone who messes with nursing mamas & babes

  • Hold nurse-ins

  • Write letters

  • Pass additional laws to penalize anyone who messes with nursing

  • More than one of the above

  • None one of the above

Read Full Post »

Nursing Images, The Act of Nursing, Nursing Promotions

If you see a mom breastfeeding her baby, babywearing, or otherwise nurturing her baby in a healthy way, send me the description and I will add it here.

If you see a pro-breastfeeding ad, TV show, movie, or other media example, send me a description or a link and I will add it here.

If you see any other promotion or hear of one, send me the description and I will add it here.

I’ll start:

Saw one mom breastfeeding a newborn at church, in the back pew with a blankie covering said baby.

Nursed my own baby and babywore in public today… at church I also nursed my toddler.

via web:
Today at a neighborhood christmas party, I saw a neighbor of mine nursing her 15 month old daughter. I stopped and said that I was thrilled to see another mom nursing her baby past 1 year and we chatted about how much our babies loved to nurse, it was great comfort to them, etc.

Read Full Post »

The bottle feeding frenzy

Send me an example of any WHO Code violations, and I will add it to this blog entry.

I’ll go first:

In two days, I have seen two or three ads for Nestle “Good Start Supreme” Formula, with happy cute smiley babies who are free of eczema and runny nose and gas, with the cute little hearts floating around the screen, on NICKELODEON during programs my son watches. He’s two. I know – you say “Perhaps he should not be watching TV.” But he does, and he loves to watch commercials as well, (I used to too and depending on what it is, whether it is Barbie’s 12 dancing Princesses, Floam, or a Hallmark commercial, or a Lever 2000 commercial with a hot soapy wet male model, I will still do it!) and well, he thinks that the Nestle commercial is worth watching. I guess the sight of a baby drinking from a bottle intrigues him, and the floaty hearts don’t help matters.

Plus, he likes babies, live, on TV, or in pictures.

I see bottles everywhere, but to me the advertising is the worst part of everything. Especially when you consider the web address for Nestle is “VeryBestBaby.com”

Poor little babies! Cute babies being used to market formula is just going to appeal to the market and put all babies at risk! Yes, the babies are all wonderful and “the best,” it’s the food they’re getting that isn’t. Hello! Giving your baby formula does not make him the best baby. He already is the best he’ll be, the way God made him.

Babies are all sweet and innocent and deserving of protection!


Recently returned a gift – a new baby keepsake album because of the “Holds Own Bottle” among other things written inside. This was a Winnie the Pooh book at Target. I sent them a nice little letter about the WHO Code.

Read Full Post »