Many mothers, even celebrity moms, make the personal decision to share photos of themselves breastfeeding -- emphasis on personal decision. But recently, one Sears security guard took that choice away from mothers shopping at the store.
This week, a teenager named Nick Carrington posted images of women breastfeeding at a Sears department store to his Twitter account. The photos were zoomed-in screenshots from the store's security camera footage. Carrington's account @Flex_To_Death has since disappeared, but the cached version shows that his profile description read, "Catching thieves day by day at a sears near you."
Wereparentsblog.com was able to capture the photos before they were deleted, and posted them on Twitter, adding black circles for the moms' privacy:
— We're Parents (@WereParents) July 21, 2014
The photos sparked outrage online, as parents condemned the teen's actions as "revolting" and demanded action from Sears. The department store chain's Twitter account responded to individual tweets, stating, "Sears respects the privacy of all shoppers. This matter is currently under investigation."
@madcutelife Sears respects the privacy of all shoppers. This matter is currently under investigation.
— Sears (@Sears) July 21, 2014
In a later tweet, Sears revealed that Nick Carrington had been fired.
@WinterLightHome We regret this isolated incident. We have investigated this incident and terminated the associate who was involved.
— Sears (@Sears) July 22, 2014
Still, many tweeters remain unsatisfied with the lack of official statement from Sears and the fact that the matter was handled in an internal investigation without any apparent police notification.
— Katie Sherrick (@katiesherrick) July 22, 2014
Wereparentsblog.com, who has been on top of the situation since Monday, demanding action from Sears, is now threatening a boycott if the store doesn't offer a public apology.
Over on SheKnows.com, Monica Beyer explains that photos of breastfeeding women in general is not the problem, but violating those moms' privacy is a huge one. "Nursing in public is totally normal, but when someone pulls a photo from zoomed-in security footage and distributes it with ridicule through his social media channels, that's unacceptable," she wrote.