What to Know
Ninety-five percent of all school districts in LA have improved breastfeeding policies in the last four years.
California Women’s Law Center works to push school districts to comply with state breastfeeding laws.
Mothers attending or working at schools throughout Los Angeles County four years ago would often struggle to find appropriate breastfeeding areas for their babies while trying to cram for an exam or prepare a lecture for the next class.
A report from the California Women’s Law Center shows that 95 percent of all school districts in the Southland are doing much better at providing pregnant or postpartum staff and students with breastfeeding accommodations than they were four years ago.
The nonprofit's "ABCs of Breastfeeding Report Card" evaluates lactation accommodations at schools and grades the districts' compliance to notify students and staff of their California Title IX rights.
The report follows a traditional grading rubric: A, B, and C for passing while D and F for failing to meet the criteria. Points to improve the grades are rewarded based on the district’s ability to meet state law requirements, provide breastfeeding rights online and create board policies addressing lactation accommodations.
As of February 2019, the nonprofit found the following results:
- 61 districts got As
- Eight scored Bs
- Eight districts got Cs
- One got a D
- Three school districts have F grades.
That was a far cry from the first report card four years ago, where the inverse was found to be true. Only one district got an A, while 12 had Bs, 25 had Cs, 21 got Ds, and 22 districts received Fs.
The report reviewed 81 schools, which educate approximately 1.5 million students throughout Southern California.
One example from the report shows that Arcadia Unified School District scored an F in 2015. This year, AUSD received an A grading for its efforts to provide students and staff with appropriate breastfeeding policies.
The report also shows the school districts that have continuously failed to improve their breastfeeding accommodations: Bellflower Unified School District and Keppel Union School District have not improved since they scored Fs in 2015, according to the report card.
In 2015, the law was officially changed to mandate that schools provide students a private space to pump that isn't a bathroom, nor a closet.
"Many pregnant or parenting students are unaware of their rights and for various reasons are forced into alternative schooling or to drop out of school," the press release said.