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Posted: September 18, 2012 9:10 p.m.

Breast-feeding mother asked to leave

A Douglasville woman was reportedly asked to leave a Covington restaurant recently after she refused to leave the table to breast-feed her 20-month-old son.

Dawn Holland was breast-feeding her son Connor, in a booth at the Covington Applebee's when she was approached by the manager who suggested she finished feeding her baby in the bathroom or leave.

Covington police were called and met Holland outside of the restaurant when she was leaving. She reportedly told them she had been asked to leave because she was breast-feeding. Police then spoke with the manager who allegedly agreed and said she did have a conversation with Holland and had asked her to leave.

Covington Capt. Ken Malcom said no official report was taken as the incident was not a criminal matter.

Holland, who could not be reached directly, told 11Alive that she tried explaining her right to breast-feed in public, as Georgia is one of 45 states that have laws which protect the right for mothers to nurse anywhere.

According to Georgia code section 31-1-9: "The breast-feeding of a baby is an important and basic act of nurture which should be encouraged in the interests of maternal and child health. A mother may breast-feed her baby in any location where the mother and baby are otherwise authorized to be."

In response to the issue Applebee's corporate communications office had this to say: "We're in the business of welcoming guests to our restaurants and our top priority is always to provide a friendly and comfortable environment for everyone, including nursing mothers who have the right to nurse in public. This was an unfortunate misunderstanding and we hope the guest will give us another chance to demonstrate that to her personally."

Holland is currently being represented by the Rashidi Law Firm in Marietta. While she could not be reached as of press time, Holland's attorney was willing to set up an interview for Holland to tell her story. Check back on this story as it develops.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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