Danielle Bell, a mother from North Carolina was scolded by a judge for breastfeeding her baby in court.
According to Cafe Mom, Bell was there to contest a traffic ticket that included a seat belt violation.
While waiting for her case, she discreetly breastfed her 3-month-old, Penelope, in the courtroom.
But then, a deputy approached her and claimed that children under 12 are not permitted in the courtroom and that she should, therefore, leave.
But the interaction with the deputy was only the beginning as things got progressively worse.
You would think that a breastfeeding baby would be an exception to the "no children under 12" rule. Plus, Bell did not expose her breasts while feeding, so her violation was a dubious accusation.
State and federal laws in North Carolina do not indicate public breastfeeding as illegal.
Earlier this week, Bell told WRAL:
"I felt discriminated against. This is the way she survives -- by breastfeeding -- because she refuses a bottle."
“I said, ‘If I leave her at home, she’s not able to eat.’ He then replied to me that was not his problem,” Danielle… https://t.co/u6ciR18oAm— Nine.com.au (@Nine.com.au) 1556775004.0
After passing off Penelope to her husband while he was waiting outside the courtroom, District Court Judge Resson Faircloth confronted Bell and told her she could never bring the baby into the courtroom with her ever again.
@WEAU13News Another despicable judge who needs to be removed.— Shawn Beck (@Shawn Beck) 1556881676.0
She tried to reason with Faircloth, by explaining that her baby would be unable to eat if left at home. But nothing could persuade him.
"He then replied to me that was not his problem and that, if I had any other excuse, he was going to take her that day and have me put in contempt."
The judge further threatened to place the baby under Child Protective Services.
@hmbana4babies This is unbelievable.— New York Milk Bank (@New York Milk Bank) 1556825159.0
Bell was devastated, and told the news station:
"That's when I walked out of the courtroom crying."
Her frustration was justified by those incensed by the judge's actions.
@WKYT That’s abuse of power that needs to be filed as a grievance. He cannot take her baby because she cares for he… https://t.co/CPm84H0BaK— Terra (@Terra) 1556893158.0
@WKYT That is major abuse of power.— Cheyenne Harper♏️🔮🧹🌙 (@Cheyenne Harper♏️🔮🧹🌙) 1556903155.0
@WEAU13News We need to start holding judges accountable for their incompetence— Jessica hagen (@Jessica hagen) 1556885607.0
@hmbana4babies That judge needs to go!! Mom needs to get a lawyer and file a lawsuit, he threatened to ILLEGALLY ta… https://t.co/u9EMTQvX25— WLS (@WLS) 1556891085.0
People are on Bell's side and hope she holds the judge accountable for this unreasonable threat.
@WKRG What a beautiful baby and you were in the right to feed your little one. I’ve seen some real scantily clad wo… https://t.co/bE0Z8M2vDU— Richard Sweet (@Richard Sweet) 1556719684.0
@WKRG I hope you file a law suit against those sorry ass people. That is an innocent child who just so happens to b… https://t.co/OidLId8F5J— Benjamin Thompson (@Benjamin Thompson) 1556730333.0
@WKRG Unacceptable of that Judge you are doing the best thing for your child by breastfeeding as long as your able.— JennyJeanLove (@JennyJeanLove) 1556727371.0
Bell is due back in court on May 20, but now she has anxiety about returning.
"I definitely have fear of going back to the courthouse. I am worried about the consequences that will happen."
As of 2018, women are allowed to " breastfeed in any place of public accommodation" in all 50 states, after the last hold-out state of Idaho finally got their act together.
Despite legalizing a very natural necessity for a baby's development, moms everywhere remain to be victims of shaming.