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Cross-posted at MotherTalkers.

Good morning fellow moms, dads and caregivers!

I am back with your weekly parenting news update. Here are some topics we recently discussed at MotherTalkers:

Paid family leave has been on our minds lately. Salon Broadsheet -- a great women's blog, by the way -- covered a story on how the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to give federal employees four weeks paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child. The bill passed largely along party lines as Republicans fear federal workers will continue to make or adopt babies to collect checks. Eye roll. In related news, employers in England are laying off women in pregnancy or on maternity leave at an alarming rate that it has set off a barrage of discrimination lawsuits, according to the Guardian. Just to show you how important mandatory paid leave is at this time.

Where I live (Berkeley, California), hunting for a preschool is serious sport. Such schools boast years-long waiting lists and it is rare to spot a child three years or older during the day as they are in school. It can be overwhelming for parents, which is why this father's essay poo-pooing the process was welcomed. Did you tour multiple preschools or elementary schools? What made you decide on your child's school?

This is a heartbreaking story and I am sorry to bum you out. But it has been the talk in my neck of the woods as it happened two towns away from us and I can't shake it off. A 42-year-old father on the way to his banking job in San Francisco left his 4-month-old in the car at a public transit station. The baby was discovered dead after the mother was alerted by daycare workers he hadn't shown. Neighbors described this couple as responsible and doting of their first baby -- just to show you this can happen to anyone. The San Francisco Chronicle article of the tragedy offered tips to help new sleep-deprived parents remember their babies in the backseat of the car. Sleep deprivation and a change of routine could be a deadly combination.

In case you missed it, Newsweek ran its annual list of the country's top high schools. While some moms on our site were thrilled to see their or their child's school make the list, they took issue with the way the magazine measured excellence. A school's ranking was based on the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and/or Cambridge tests taken by the students at the school in 2008 divided by the number of seniors who graduated.

Our resident cool mom Gloria covered a study suggesting that listening to music with degrading sexual lyrics could prompt teenagers to have sex at an earlier age. She was wondering what to do about her young son's listening to such music.

Summer vacation is upon us. Shenanigans -- aka elfling here on Daily Kos -- debated the pros and cons of letting out school for the summer. Also, we have had a lot of book reviews lately. One of our moms, brave, reviewed mommy blogging pioneer Heather Armstrong's book, It Sucked and Then I Cried. What do you plan to take with you to the beach?

What else is on your minds?

Originally posted to Elisa on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 07:50 AM PDT.

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