Local moms react to Kentucky Kingdom breastfeeding apology


by WHAS editors


Posted on July 11, 2014 at 5:13 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 11 at 6:13 PM

Louisville, Ky. (WHAS11) - While nursing her son 8 week old son Jacob at Kentucky Kingdom, Renee Villatoro said she was asked by an employee to move to the bathroom.

“I just wanted to feed my baby,” she said.

Villatorro said she felt humiliated when she was told to go to the bathroom to breast-feed.

She said it was not only offensive but also illegal, and she was happy to see that apology from the CEO but feels there needs to be more education and sensitivity training for the staff there.

“I was just dumbfounded, so I said, ‘okay,’” she said.

Villatoro said she was shocked by the request especially because she was wearing a cover up.

But even if she was not covered up, Kentucky state law states a mother can breast-feed her baby in any location, public or private, where she is authorized to be.

Kentucky Kingdom first responded to the incident by saying mothers can breast-feed anywhere in the park providing they use discretion, something many moms on the internet took offense to.

"The discretion of the mom that's what we were alluding to, " Kentucky Kingdom’s Director of Marketing John Mulcahy said.

He said they never meant to come between mother and child. Their CEO has issued an apology, and they've had meetings with all employees about the correct policy.

"The incident you are referring to is unfortunate. We've only been operating 5 to 6 weeks; we've got a lot of young people, and in an-over zealous effort to make sure everything is perfect in the park, there was a misinterpretation as to how that policy would be implemented by that individual,” Mulcahy said.

Villatoro said she's heard from thousands of moms supporting her. She would like to see more training at the park.

A firestorm ensued on Facebook after this story went public. WHAS11's Michaela MacDonald talked to local moms to get their opinions. More on that in the video player above.