The Honorable Patrick O’Donnell
Chair, Assembly Education Committee
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: AB 302 (Garcia) – Support
Dear Assemblymember O’Donnell:
I am writing in support of AB 302 (Garcia), which will clarify school accommodations for lactating students in California. This bill requires that high schools provide lactating students with access to a private room for expressing milk and reasonable breaks to accommodate their lactation schedule, as well as allow these students to bring a breast pump to school and to store milk.
Although current law protects the rights of lactating students in certain accommodations, school administrators may deny requests because they are ill-informed or unaware of students’ rights. Failure to provide a private, secure room and a consistent pumping schedule can have educational and health ramifications for lactating students and their children. Students can experience significant pain, discomfort and even breast infections from not expressing milk, which may lead a student to enroll in a school simply because it allows them to pump or breastfeed during school hours or deter a student from attending school altogether. Additionally, a lack of school accommodations may lead a student to forego breastfeeding, which would deny infants a range of developmental benefits and their mothers possible protection against developing serious health conditions.
Pregnant and parenting students should not be forced to make decisions about their education or their ability to breastfeed solely based on whether a school provides appropriate lactation accommodations. When young parents do well educationally, economically and socially, their children and our communities benefit.
I support AB 302 and urge your affirmative vote on this important issue.
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