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Teacher Told School She’d Need to Pump Breast Milk During Work Hours. She Says It Got Her Fired

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A new mom from Maine claims she was fired from her teaching job after having a baby — all because she needed to pump breast milk during school hours.

Now, she’s suing the school for discrimination.

The mother, 33-year-old Shana Swenson, returned from maternity leave in August 2017, USA Today reports.

She told officials at Falmouth Elementary School that she’d need to take a total of about 60 minutes during her shift to pump breast milk three times a day.

Swenson also proposed feeding her child at the on-site day care instead, according to her lawsuit.

The former Falmouth teacher said she was told that pumping three times a day was too much and claims she was met with “extreme animosity and hostility” from her co-workers.

She refused to reduce her pumping schedule because she said it could lead to clogged milk ducts or mastitis, an inflammation of the breast tissue, the Bangor Daily News reports.

Though Swenson had only received positive performance reviews in the past, she received her first negative review after informing her supervisor that she felt discriminated against regarding her pumping.

And in May 2018, she was told that the school would not renew her contract to teach there.

breastfeeding
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Swenson is now suing the school district on claims that she was discriminated against on the basis of gender and pregnancy, the Bangor Daily News reports.

However, a lawyer for Falmouth Public Schools said that the mother was let go because of her performance. Attorney Melissa Hewey said:

“Ms. Swenson’s claim that the Falmouth School Department discriminated against her is false. In fact, Falmouth works hard to support employees who are parents by, among other things, providing mothers with paid time to breast feed and express breast milk during the school day, extended parental leave when needed, and an on-site day care for employees so that they are able to be near their children and participate in their care during the working day.”

Swenson’s attorney,  Katie A. Beatty, said her client was “hurt” by the school’s actions. She added:

“We look forward to the discovery process including depositions and document exchanges to vindicate our client’s rights.”

Maine’s Office of Health Equity recommends that new moms pump two to three times a day during an eight-hour shift, which should roughly be “the same number of breaks to pump that you would need to take to feed your baby if you were not at work.”

Employers in Maine are also required by law to provide breastfeeding moms a place to express milk on scheduled breaks up until the child is 3 years old.

It’s unclear if Swenson is now working as a teacher elsewhere.

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Man facing assault charges for attack in George Washington University campus parking garage

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A 27-year-old man has been arrested and charged in connection to an attempted sexual assault in a D.C. parking garage that left a woman severely injured earlier this month, police said.

A 27-year-old man has been arrested and charged in connection to an attempted sexual assault in a D.C. parking garage that left a woman severely injured earlier this month, police said.

On Oct. 4, a woman was assaulted while walking in a George Washington University parking garage, police said. The suspect attempted to force the woman into a sexual act during the assault.

On Wednesday, D.C. and George Washington University police announced that Omar Williams, of no fixed address, had been arrested and charged with assault with intent to commit first-degree sexual abuse while armed, and aggravated assault while armed.

Police said the woman was seriously injured in the assault, and that her injuries required hospitalization.

During the investigation into Williams, police said they connected him to two other violent crimes in Northwest D.C.

On Sept. 25, a woman reported being knocked down and robbed of her purse. The victim then ran from the scene.

The other assault happened on Aug. 30, when a suspect walked into a business on the 600 block of Massachusetts Avenue Northwest, grabbed some merchandise and attempted to leave. A person tried to intervene, and the suspect assaulted them, police said.

George Washington University Police Chief James Tate thanked D.C. police for their help in locating a suspect in the case.

“I also want to thank the GW community for its support during this investigation, and for his patience and allowing us to do our work behind the scenes — thank you,” Tate said.

WTOP’s Kristi King contributed to this report.

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Charges filed against owner of escaped zebras in Prince George’s County

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Charges have been filed against the owner of several zebras that have been running around loose in Prince George’s County, Maryland, for almost two months, and another zebra that belonged to him has been found dead.

Charges have been filed against the owner of several zebras that have been running around loose in Prince George’s County, Maryland, for almost two months, and another zebra that belonged to him has been found dead.

Three animal cruelty charges were filed Tuesday in Prince George’s County District Court against Jerry Holly, 76, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, who has a herd of nearly 40 zebras on his property along Duley Station Road. Prince George’s County Animal Services Chief Rodney Taylor said the herd was moved to Maryland from Florida in late summer, The Associated Press reported.

The charges are animals at large, cruelty and neglect and manner of keeping/nuisance. All relate to the three zebras that escaped from the farm on Aug. 26.



The charging documents say the zebras have not received the care they require during the more than 50 days they have been on the loose.

It was revealed last week that one of the escaped zebras got caught in a snare trap and died in September.

According to charging documents, the trap was just 2 feet away from the fenced zebra enclosure. Snare traps are illegal in Prince George’s County, and an investigation into who set it is ongoing.

The documents go on to say that an investigating officer from Maryland Natural Resources Police thinks the animal most likely died from dehydration after several days of struggling in the trap. The officer said, in his opinion, the animal should have been seen or heard while it was dying if the caretaker had attended to his animals.

By the time natural resources police responded on Sept. 16, the animal was completely decomposed and the cause of its death could not be determined.

Another zebra that was not one of the escapees, was found dead Tuesday on Holly’s property. The charging documents say that animal had been dead long enough for rigor mortis to set in.

Efforts to capture the two zebras that are still running free continue, and the Department of the Environment (DoE) for Prince George’s County says it has inspected the property every two to three business days since they first escaped.

As the DoE investigates, it has chosen not to impound the surviving zebra herd. But it is exploring the possibility of getting help from animal sanctuaries if the decision is made to remove the zebras from the farm.

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Police: Boy stabbed elementary school classmate

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Petersburg police say a boy took a knife to his elementary school and stabbed a 6-year-old classmate during recess.

PETERSBURG, Va. — Petersburg police say a boy took a knife to his elementary school and stabbed a 6-year-old classmate during recess.

WWBT-TV reports that police said the attack happened Tuesday at Walnut Hill Elementary School and the school notified parents on Wednesday.

The student used a pocketknife, injuring another 6-year-old boy from his earlobe to his face.

The injured student is expected to be OK and police say it was an isolated incident between those two students. No one else was hurt.

After consulting with the Commonwealth’s Attorney, police say the child who brought the knife is not expected to face criminal charges.

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