On the first day of her “Sex, Gender Culture” class, American University Assistant Professor Adrienne Pine found herself in a conundrum when her baby awoke with a fever. Unable to drop the infant off at daycare, Pine brought her to class and began to lecture, keeping an eye on the baby as she crawled on the floor; at one point, a teaching assistant held and rocked the baby.
But then the baby grew “restless.” Pine chose to breastfeed the baby while continuing to lecture, until her offspring fell asleep. Though Pine saw the situation as a non-issue, AU’s student newspaper tried to interview her on the “incident” — and the controversy has grown exponentially from there.
Facing public scrutiny, Pine has published a defense, declaring “whether it is private or public has no bearing on whether I would choose to feed a hungry child.” But critics have argued that her actions were inappropriate and unprofessional.
Did Pine cross a line?