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The Top Ten Parenting Stories of the Week

parenthood1. TSA’s new airport screening procedures infuriate. Parents were irate about the new invasive airport security procedures instituted by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). What possible reason could there be to pat down a 3-year-old? Madeline reported on National Opt-Out Day, a group that opting out of TSA’s full body scans. Sierra wrote about one mommy blogger who likens her experience to sexual assault. But John argues that the TSA is guilty of ineptitude, not sexual assault.

2. Amazon removes pedophile content, but moms stage protest over issue. Early in the week, Amazon pulled all books by Phillip Greaves, the author of The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure. Parents Take a Stand considers a lawsuit over the issue and plans a peaceful protest at Amazon’s headquarters on Monday. The group is urging the company to develop clearer publishing guidelines.

3. Cops called on breastfeeding, diaper-changing moms. Danielle wrote about a New Jersey mom who claimed she was asked to leave Dunkin Donuts because she was breastfeeding. Dunkin Donuts even called the cops on her. The issue was muddied by the fact that she reportedly changed her baby’s diaper at the table. I support a woman’s right to breastfeed in public, but I felt it was a good opportunity to remind folks that changing a diaper at the table – even if it is just Dunkin Donuts — is disgusting and unsanitary.

4. President Barack Obama’s children’s book hit bookstores.  Danielle asked readers if they planned to buy Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters. Responses were divided by party lines. I reviewed the book, writing that it was “poetic and moving.”

5. Scientists Discovered What Starts Labor. A biochemical team from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas have discovered the exact molecular triggers that lead a woman to go into labor. “Uncovering the exact process means researchers are now thinking of ways to develop treatments to prevent labor before a baby is ready — the “holy grail” of preterm labor research,” writes Heather.

6. Graeme Taylor, a 14-year-old gay student, defends a teacher. At a school board meeting in Howell, Michigan, Taylor presented a remarkably eloquent defense of Jay McDowell, a high school teacher in Howell, Michigan, who was suspended last month for disciplining an “anti-gay student.” McDowell apparently received one-day suspension.

7. Moms Vent About Kids Online. Sierra wrote about the nasty comments Danielle received at her blog after she complained about her kids’ bad behavior at a restaurant. “There’s a line none of us want to cross between venting about the frustration of parenting and actually bashing on our kids. I don’t think Danielle crossed it with her post, but some commenters did,” wrote Sierra. How much sharing is okay?

8. San Francisco considers a ban on circumcisions. “Intactivists” are pushing for a question on the 2011 ballot regarding the issue of banning circumcisions, making it a misdemeanor. “Maybe circumcision should be banned, barring religious exemptions and the rare cases of medical necessity,” writes Sierra. I disagreed on the issue, siding with Jewish groups who say that “male circumcision is a religious decision that is squarely within the legal rights of parents to make for their infant sons.”

9. Skip school over Harry Potter? Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 opens today in theaters across the country.  The very first showing was at midnight last night/this morning. Some parents are letting their kids skip school so they can see it, but not Sandy. She writes: “For me, it’s a no-brainer.  Harry Potter is a big deal and I am as excited to see it as anyone else, but it can wait until after school.”

10. Royal Wedding announced. We were all excited that Prince William and Kate Middleton announced their engagement that we couldn’t help but weigh in. Robin used the occasion as an opportunity to explore little girls’ princess obsession. Carolyn was curious about how Prince Harry felt about the big news.  Madeline offered survival tips for Kate Middleton and Strollerderby editor Margaret Wheeler Johnson wondered if maybe Prince Charles and Princess Diana weren’t such bad parents after all. Me? I couldn’t help but start thinking of royal baby names. Meanwhile, Sierra couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about.

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