Wednesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

As a contractor at MomsRising, I was thrilled to see our organization make Forbes’ “Top 100 Websites for Women.” Also, MotherTalkers is a contributing blog to MomsRising — so go us!!

In case you want to catch up on the Elena Kagan hearings, MSNBC is live-blogging it. Also by MSNBC: the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has seen a 33 percent increase in the number of age discrimination complaints filed during the last two fiscal years compared to the prior two fiscal years.

More babies and small children have died in locked cars this summer since a California professor started tracking these numbers, according to the Associated Press.

A 31-year-old Florida teacher was sentenced to 10 years in prison for having sex with two of her students, according to ABC News.

Neeta aka “navajo” at Daily Kos wrote a loving and fitting tribute to her Navajo mother, who passed away on June 25. I enjoyed reading about the family’s Native American roots, history and seeing the photos so I thought I would share.

In other Daily Kos news: a stay-at-home dad wrote about the wonders of playdates. I agree.

The Momologie newsletter had fun tips and ideas for food and decorations for the 4th of July. Do you have any plans for trips, parties or fireworks?

Should there be a minimum age for nurses to hand out condoms in school? A school district in Massachusetts is having this debate after coming under fire for a policy that would, technically, allow it to give condoms to students in elementary school, according to CNN.

Jill Richardson, who has contributed food diaries here at MotherTalkers, just wrote an excellent article on school lunches at AlterNet. The relaxed USDA guidelines for school lunches are an ongoing discussion at her equally excellent blog La Vida Locavore.  

In celebrity gossip break: Lauryn Hill is back! (Sort of.) NPR interviewed her and she revealed that she had a nervous breakdown 11 years ago and has rarely performed since. But she has had her hands full. She now has five children with longtime love, Rohan Marley, son of reggae legend Bob Marley.

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?


School Bars Kindergartener for Long Hair

Via the Anti-Racist Parent blog: A family in Fort Bend County, Texas, has vowed to take their school district to court for what they say is a violation of their religion, according to a local ABC News station.

The parents of five-year-old Adriel Arocha say their son has long hair as part of his Native American heritage, which considers hair sacred.

The school district says long hair is merely a choice and Arocha’s hairstyle is in violation of school policy. School officials are requesting more proof from the Arocha family that long hair is indeed part of their religion.

No hair can cover any part of the ear, a standard collar and no tufts or tails are allowed. The superintendent says exceptions are made for religion, but Adriel’s parents have yet to provide proof of their beliefs.

“I was trying to find out what recognized religion they are that discusses they cannot cut their hair and the information I received then was basically it’s their choice,” said Needville ISD Superintendent Curtis Rhodes.

Near the school some residents felt the district was going too far.

“I don’t think longer hair than their ears is going to hurt their education,” said Needville resident Jana Hausler.

The family, by the way, promised to keep Adriel’s hair neatly braided and out of his face. But they were still rebuffed and said they will take their case to the courts if need be.

What do you think? Is this school district going too far or is the Arocha family out of line?