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Home / Articles / Views / In Case You Missed It /  In case you missed it: A mother's right
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Thursday, August 18,2011

In case you missed it: A mother's right

A mother’s right

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Women’s Rights Project announced on Monday, Aug. 15, that they plan to file a lawsuit against Rocky Mountain Academy of Evergreen, a charter school, on behalf of Heather Burgbacher, a technology teacher who says she was fired for pumping breast milk during school hours.

No, Ms. Burgbacher wasn’t pumping her breasts in front of her students or other faculty. She wasn’t filming it and putting it up on YouTube. Instead, she took three 20-minute breaks during the day, leaving another adult to supervise her students, so that she could pump breast milk for her baby in private. But her supervisors were still unhappy.

Burgbacher says one of them told her that the school would not accommodate her pumping and suggested she switch her baby to formula. But Burgbacher refused to stop and was fired in February. According to Burgbacher, her supervisor made it clear she was fired for continuing to pump breast milk.

If Burgbacher’s allegations prove to be true, Rocky Mountain Academy has not only discriminated against this dedicated mother, but also violated state law.

The Workplace Accommodations for Nursing Mothers Act, which was carried largely by Democrats and signed into law in 2008, protects the right of working mothers to pump milk so that they can hold a job and still feed their babies. After all, many mothers must return to work after their piddling eight-week maternity leave. If they’re going to keep nursing their infants, they must be able to pump breast milk, or milk production slows.

It’s bad enough that any institution would ignore state law. But what’s even more outrageous is any employer believing he or she has the right to interfere in the relationship between a mother and her baby. Breast milk is superior to formula in every respect, and nursing is an important part of the bond between mother and child. Burgbacher ought to have been praised for continuing to breastfeed, not fired.

Kudos to the ACLU and the ACLU Women’s Rights Project for standing up for mothers.

Got fat?

Deep-fried butter. No, it’s not the name of a new jam band from Mississippi. It’s what was for sale at the Iowa State Fair, where GOP hopefuls were busy pimping themselves to corn-fed voters earlier this month. To make deep-fried butter, one puts a stick in a 1/2-cup block of butter, coats it with batter, then drops it in a deep fat fryer. The butter melts into the batter, which is then drizzled with cinnamon frosting and eaten.

And we thought deep-fried Twinkies were disgusting.

Health-conscious residents of Iowa, where 66.2 percent of people are overweight or obese, will be happy to know that we here at B-dub have come up with a version of this heartland treat that is lower in both carbohydrates and calories and is gluten-free.

Take a stick of butter, dip it in a bowl of cinnamon and sugar and eat.

That’s what prisons are for

Richard Holman, 50, is an unrepentant child raper. His criminal record includes at least five arrests for sexual assault on a child, as well as a felony conviction for sexual assault on a child. So how did Holman end up living near a Denver daycare center? And how was he allowed the freedom to rape again?

Now facing allegations of sexual assault against a 10-year-old boy, Holman is once again behind bars. But for how long?

In the wake of the Jaycee Duggard story, it seems clear that the criminal justice system can’t keep tabs on these guys any better than it can determine which ones still pose a risk to children. Given that the recidivism rate among sex offenders is generally higher than that of other criminals, we’re happy to offer a more effective solution.

Let’s lock the bastards up and throw away the key.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

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