Breastfeeding mom claims discrimination at Bard on the Beach
Bard on the Beach is being accused of discrimination after a breastfeeding mother said she had been barred from attending a Saturday matinee performance of As You Like It.
In an email to the Straight, Leanne Scorah, a doula, said she had been denied entry to the play by the house manager because she was wearing her eight-week-old infant son in a sling.
“We were told we were not permitted to enter because our breastfeeding newborn...might make a noise,” said Scorah. “We told them that just like anyone who had a cough, we were respectful and capable of moving outside if we anticipated a noise.… We explained that our breastfeeding infant needs to be with its mother to stay alive, much like a person with special needs may need an oxygen ventilator, or insulin machine, or wheelchair.”
Scorah said she was told that all families with children under seven years old are “denied entry.”
“We strongly feel that this is a violation of human rights and discrimination against breastfeeding mothers, and possibly others,” said Scorah.
The Straight has requested an interview with both Scorah and a representative from Bard on the Beach.
Bard's ticketing web page clearly states: "In consideration of the actors and other patrons, infants and children under the age of 6 will not be admitted."
What do you think? Was Bard on the Beach right to prevent an infant from attending a performance? Lord knows we’ve all had the experience of being disturbed by unruly kids during a show. But given that there are those rare infants who will sleep or suckle quietly through just about anything, does it make sense for a performing arts organization to have a blanket policy barring babies?