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Mentor Mom Sues Bryant & Stratton College Over Breast Feeding

Woman claims she was the victim of sex discrimination, retaliatory discrimination and denied the right to breast feed her baby

A Mentor woman has filed a law suit in Lake County Court of Common Pleas, claiming that the Bryant & Stratton College campus in Eastlake discriminated against her and denied her the right to breast feed her baby.

This is what occurred, according to Erin Corral's lawsuit:

Corral joined the college's RN nursing program in May of 2010. In the following September, she gave birth to a daughter.

Consequently, Corral sometimes needed to pump her breast milk while at the campus. In particular, she would sometimes pump in her car during a 15-minute break in between two sections of her Nursing Fundamentals class, according to the lawsuit.

Occasionally, Corral would be five to ten minutes late for the second session of Nursing Fundamentals. Corral said she explained the reason she was late to her instructor, Davida Smith.

However, on Oct. 11, 2010, Corral came back about five minutes late from break after pumping and she found the door to her classroom locked. The same thing occurred on Oct. 25, according to the lawsuit. All totalled, Corral was locked out about 10 times during the semester

When Corral asked Smith why she was locked out, Smith cited the course syllabus's lockout policy, which said the classroom door would be locked within 15 minutes after the start of each class.

Corral told Smith the 15-minute break was not enough time for her to pump her breast milk. According to Corral's lawsuit, Smith replied, "That's too bad."

Thereafter, Corral received permission to pump in a conference room in the building. However, she said the conference room did not provide privacy and she still struggled to get back to class on time, according to the lawsuit.

When she did not get back to class on time, she would sometimes find herself locked out.

Additionally, Corral went to her doctor who said she should be taking about 30 minutes to pump her milk out. The doctor also said not doing so caused Corral's milk supply to not increast to meet her daughter's needs, the lawsuit said.

Corral's doctor wrote a letter to Smith, informing her of Corral's predicament. However, Smith refused to entertain Corral and her doctor's requests for accommodation, according to the lawsuit.

In turn, Corral complained to Timothy Farrell, the Eastlake campus's dean of instruction. However, nothing changed and Corral felt the campus was ignoring her complaints.

So in November of that year, Corral did an interview in which she shared her complaints with 19 Action News. After that, Ted Hansen, the director of the Eastlake campus, sent a letter to Corral demainding that she write a retraction of her statements.

Corral stopped attending classes at the Eastlake campus that month.

She said that administrators initially gave her permission to finish the course on her own, outside of the classroom setting, but later retracted their decision, according to the lawsuit.

Soon thereafter, Bryant & Stratton dismissed her from the RN program.

In the lawsuit, Corral said she was discriminated against on the basis of her sex and then the college retaliated against her when she initially made these claims. Corral said the school also denied her the right to breast feed.

Corral said the school's actions have caused her emotional distress.

In her lawsuit, Corral is asking for more than $25,000.

The college has responded to Corral's lawsuit in a statement. They said:

"Ms. Corral has been alleging discrimination by Bryant & Stratton College for two years. Her allegations have been investigated by the Ohio State Board of Nursing and the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and both organizations found no wrong doing by Bryant and Stratton College.

"Due to concerns for Ms. Corral’s privacy rights under FERPA and Bryant & Stratton College’s practice of not commenting on ongoing litigation, Bryant & Stratton College cannot offer further comment on this matter."

Laura December 06, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Good on her. I am not sure on her rights as in her being late back but seems to me that they went above and beyond to hamper her breastfeeding jorney and then they added insult to injery by discriminating further once she had no choice but to go to the news as nobody was listening to her. I am a breastfeeding mum and this is a Discusting way for people to behave when a mother is trying to to the natral thing and be a parent x
Bryant & Stratton College December 07, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Ms. Corral has been alleging discrimination by Bryant & Stratton College for two years. Her allegations have been investigated by the Ohio State Board of Nursing and the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and both organizations found no wrong doing by Bryant & Stratton College. Due to concerns for Ms. Corral’s privacy rights under FERPA and Bryant & Stratton College’s practice of not commenting on ongoing litigation, Bryant & Stratton College cannot offer further comment on this matter.
Lisa Warren-Mann December 07, 2012 at 09:57 AM
A woman should be able to provide the best nutrition for her baby, especially when that fact is proven by science. What makes it worse is she was studying in the health profession so they of all people should be the most understanding! I wish our state laws about pumping at work also applied to pumping at school! Unfortunately this woman had to choose between furthering her education and nursing her baby because if she wasn't pumping regularly then her supply would diminish very fast! It is so sad that something that is so natural and good is taken as wrong be so many in our society. Only because we have over sexualized the breast instead of treasuring what God gave us and their intended use! Breastmilk is liquid gold, it has been proven to not only be best for baby, but to cure pink eye, help cure asthma, cure eczema, help toward healing cancer patients not only beat cancer but ease the side effects of chemo. These professors in the health industry should have been giving her a standing ovation for working so hard to get an education and provide the eat for baby an instead they alienated her! Such a sad sad story! But thank you for sharing! I will be sharing on www.facebook.com/wemakemilk so other Breastfeeding moms can give their input on our page!
mentor res December 07, 2012 at 11:56 AM
I breastfeed my babies until they were 2 months old and then formula fed and they are healthier then any baby that was breastfed.
Meg Annan December 07, 2012 at 03:57 PM
It's pretty pathetic that a NURSING program wouldn't allow a student a little extra time to pump breast milk (the healthiest form of nourishment) for her child. What kind of example is this program setting for their future nurses?
Meg Annan December 07, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Really? Healthier than ANY child that was breastfed? Quite a ridiculous claim to make. You sound dumb.
Meg Annan December 07, 2012 at 03:59 PM
If the college has a practice of not commenting on ongoing litigation, why are you commenting?
Jason Lea (Editor) December 07, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Meg, please do not insult other commenters. You can make your point without calling someone else "dumb."
Kym Houchin December 07, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Maybe she should have requested a privacy screen in the classroom so that she could pump while still in class. Would that have made B&S happy? Distract 40 other students instead of appeasing just one?
Kate B December 07, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Whether a case of discrimination can be made or not (I'm not a lawyer and have no legal background so can't comment on that) the attitude of the lecturer and the school is still nothing to be proud of or to defend. I believe that breast milk is best for babies and think that a students decision to pump to provide the best for her child should have been applauded! But regardless of my own personal feelings about breast feeding, I don't think the situation is about that: it's about respecting an individuals decision to do what she feels is best for her family. Colleges/universities are supposed to be about education and respecting the different opinions/theories/practices of other people. By not respecting her decision, the school has effectively said "we'll respect your choices as long as we agree with them"...
Kristin Peters December 09, 2012 at 09:07 PM
The whole lawsuit is ridiculous. I don't even know how someone could be able to sue for something like this?! She chose to enter a program and she knew the rules of the classroom. I am a HUGE supporter of breast feeding and am a lactation consultant, but her claims are unfounded. She could pump her milk anytime she...why did she choose to do it when she knew she had an obligation to be in class, like the rest of the students there. If we start giving exemptions to everyone then soon no one will feel the need to attend class. If she truly cared so much to pump why not do it at home (wake up earlier or go to bed later). Breast milk can be pumped and stored in the freezer (if done properly) and still be used 6 months later. I think this woman is just trying to make money off the whole situation...sad, sad, sad.
Michelle Garcia December 14, 2012 at 04:08 AM
Kris Peters, God help us if you truly are a lactation consultant. Your words do not support breastfeeding, and your comments suggest that you do not understand how breastfeeding works. It really is very simple: supply and demand. If you don't pump or nurse every 3-4 hours , then you can kiss your supply goodbye. If the baby is a newborn, then it is more realistically like every 2 hours. Suggesting that she pump at home shows the ignorance and lack of knowledge you have about breastfeeding. If she is at work/school 3-4 hours after the last time she has nursed or pumped, then what do you want her to do? She has EVERY RIGHT to feed her baby and shame on you for saying she just wants to make money. How about she wants to do what is BEST for her baby. PLEASE do all nursing moms a favor and consider a new line of work.
Graduate RN from B&S January 27, 2013 at 06:12 AM
With all due respect, yes she had a newborn (newborns eat every 2-3hours) , but how much time do you think the school should have accommodated her with to pump for her 2 year old that she was also breastfeeding? Give it a rest already! She used poor judgement entering a rigorous program when she did, did not meet expectations that were clearly stated verbally and in writing which she signed.... and failed, not just for being late to class, she failed multiple tests and didn't show up for them. Poor little Erin has student loans now to pay back and no degree to show for it...sucks to be her! So when you say ....she had the right...sure she did, but she didn't have the right to interrupt 39 other students. Whehhhh! I breast fed all my children, worked full-time and pumped. Pumped on my breaks and during lunch. stored! She is not the only women in the world that has breasts with milk that had to listen to rules, these women developed a plans and schedules that worked for them and their bosses/teachers, and are successful at work, school, and at being a good mom that is providing nourishment.
Graduate RN from B&S January 27, 2013 at 06:17 AM
This is in NO WAY a case of discrimination.....this is a case of crying wolf!!!!!! Davida Smith WAS and IS a great professor!!!!
Must have coffee February 01, 2013 at 07:36 PM
In a related story you said you were in the classes with her? Its interesting how the school has convinced students that they should be locked in hatred against this mother. Thank you Graduate RN. This puts my suspicion to rest that this is nothing more than a bunch of intolerant people circumventing their issues on someone else. Shame on you for trying to validate yourself instead of standing up for such a simple fundamental right. Empathy is truly not a virtue you seem to possess, which after reading this article isn't something I would expect anyways from a "graduate RN from B&S"
Nicki Exley May 01, 2013 at 04:11 AM
My sister in law went through Bryant and Stratton and said Davida Smith was a good instructor and also fair. That is much different than she is being portrayed in the media but my sister in law states that none of this is true.And for the people who made ugly comments that my sister in law is only sticking up for Davida because of the race thing my sister in law is white. My sister in law states that Davida Smith was the best professor that she ever had in nursing school.

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