In 2016, BreastfeedLA (The Breastfeeding Task Force of Greater Los Angeles), the ACLU of Southern California (ACLU SoCal), and the California Women’s Law Center released a report entitled ABC’s of Breastfeeding in Los Angeles County School Districts showing that 68 of the county’s 81 school districts received a grade of “C” or worse, and 21 received an “F” or “F-minus.”
The Torrance Unified School District was the only one to receive an “A”.
“State and federal law require school districts to provide employees and students with accommodations that allow them to continue breastfeeding after the birth of their babies,” said Melissa Goodman, Director, LGBTQ, Gender and Reproductive Justice Project at ACLU So Cal.
The report card graded school districts based on whether their overall policies are easily accessible. The survey also checked whether districts have clear policies governing pregnant and parenting students, a student policy that includes lactation accommodation—time and space to pump milk, other than a toilet stall–and an identifiable Title IX Coordinator on staff.
Despite these clear legal obligations, Arissa Palmer (Executive Director, BreastfeedLA) said, “Our organizations have received many complaints and questions from parenting employees and students who do not know their lactation rights, have faced difficulties when they need to pump milk on the job or during the school day, and do not know who to turn to within the school community for help.”
Those complaints prompted BreastfeedLA to do a survey to determine how many school districts in the county have clear and accessible lactation policies and Title IX Coordinators.
Only a third of school districts had lactation accommodation policies for employees, and only 17 percent had lactation accommodations policies for students. Only 23 percent had an easily identifiable Title IX Coordinator, a designated person districts must have who can ensure compliance with laws that require lactation accommodations and handle lactation-related complaints.
The report card also provides school districts with practical tips and tools for meeting their legal requirements and supporting breastfeeding employees and students, including implementing the new state law Gov. Brown signed.
Along with the report card, the organizations also released legal resources spelling out federal and state law on lactation accommodations.
February 2019, Update of the “ABC’s of Breastfeeding” report card for Los Angeles County school districts RELEASED!
Title IX and California law also require school districts to post the name and contact information of their Title IX Coordinator prominently on their website. When the initial report card was released, only 25% of school districts had posted their Title IX Coordinator contact information. Over the last two years, BreastfeedLA and CWLC have worked to bring the Los Angeles County school districts into compliance and currently 63 districts now have both employee and student lactation accommodation board policies in place and 100% of districts are compliant with the Title IX notification requirements.
The revised report identifies the districts that are now fully compliant with the law and also those that must still adopt compliant policies to ensure lactating students and employees are accommodated as required by law. The updated report card will be sent to the 81 Los Angeles County school districts and interaction will continue with each district not in compliance offering assistance in helping them meet the criteria necessary to receive an “A” grade.
You may view and download the updated report card here 2019-BF-Report_FINAL