Like every year, there was no shortage of news in 2012, and parents, in particular, had lots to talk about. Stories near and far touched us as parents and had some of us questioning what we do and how we do it. From a teacher’s strike affecting thousands of students to a horrible shooting at a faraway school to a national magazine sparking a debate over breastfeeding, 2012 was a year to remember. Here is a look at five of the top stories.
Connecticut school shooting: Though it happened hundreds of miles away, the horrible shooting rampage at a Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. shook parents everywhere. The idea that evil could enter a school and kill young children and staff horrified us and still haunts us. My hope is parents everywhere will mobilize to demand dramatic changes, not only in how we regulate guns and care for those with mental illnesses, but in how we treat each other.
Violence closer to home: Chicago had problems of its own with violence and shootings, as noted by this Chicago Sun-Times special report. Gun violence has been particularly heartbreaking because it seemed to be focused on young victims. New reports over the last year featured parent after parent tearfully describing their killed child. That is something no parent should have to experience.
Chicago teacher’s strike: For the first time in 25 years, Chicago Public School teachers went on strike. For seven school days in September, thousands of students were out of school as about 30,000 members of the Chicago Teacher Union hit the picket lines. Of contention were benefits and a proposal to lengthen the school day. Parents had to struggle to find alternative care for their children. The union ultimately agreed to modest raises and to tie a portion of those raises to student test scores.
Putting the formula away: Many hospitals are not freely offering formula to new mothers, encouraging breastfeeding instead. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg made headlines by getting city hospitals to agree to putting away the formula, and hospitals in Massachusetts and Rhode Island are pushing similar limits. Formula is still available but only when medically necessary.
Magazine’s controversial cover: Speaking of breastfeeding, you likely have seen (or at least heard about) “Time” magazine’s cover earlier in 2012 that featured a mom breastfeeding her toddler son. Whether you’re a parent or not, you couldn’t miss it. The cover sparked plenty of debate over breastfeeding but perhaps it may make it easier for us breastfeeding moms to do it in public.
What else was newsworthy in 2012? Leave a comment or send feedback to AmyMcLaughlinMaciaszek@gmail.com.