The Doctors: Reporter Gunned Down On Live TV
The mother of Alison Parker shared that from day one, Alison had a glowing personality. She was a gymnast and danced for 13 years, but she really wanted to be a journalist. She was offered the job at WDBJ and she was thrilled to report to 150,000 people who watched her on the news every morning. Alison and her boyfriend met when Alison was an intern and Chris was a lead anchor. The couple planned on getting married and traveling the world. But on August 26, Alison’s family’s world was turned upside down. Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were gunned down during a live broadcast and were killed.
The only thing that keeps Alison’s family going is their new mission to save others from gun violence. Andy and Barbara, Alison’s parents joined the show, as well as Alison’s boyfriend Chris. Barbara said they’ve been through the absolute devastation of losing their daughter, and their grief turned to anger. Not a day goes by that they don’t feel their unimaginable loss.
The Doctors: Murdered Reporter’s Family Fighting Gun Violence
Andy and Barbara attended the Guns in America Town Hall with President Obama and have become active participants in trying to prevent future gun violence. Andy said they’re happy to be a part of such a powerful advocady group to advance the conversation in our country. Barbara said everyone grieves differently, but they felt like they didn’t have a choice and just had to get out there and do something. They’re also in the process of starting a foundation and currently have a $200,000 scholarship at James Madison University in Alison’s name. They’re starting a foundation called the For Alison Foundation that will help small communities in rural Virginia to bring the arts that Alison loved to children there.
The Doctors: Fighting Gun Violence & Promoting Mental Health Awareness
Chris explained that the area they live in is no stranger to gun violence or lapses in the mental health system. He pointed out that in 2007, just a half hour away from their town was the Virginia Tech shooting. After that there were advances made in communication for better mental health services. He said there’s still a lot more work to be done for everyone to be able to recognize when someone may need help and how to help them. Barbara said we should also reduce the stigma of mental illness to encourage people to acknowledge when they need help.
The Doctors: Parents In Legal Trouble For Kids Skipping School
The Doctors then wanted to switch gears to talk about a trend that could leave parents in trouble with the law. Parents in Indiana were charged with felonies after their kids skipped school. If prosecuted, the parents could face up to 30 months in jail. More states are targeting parents with absent children, but it leaves many wondering if parents should be responsible for children skipping school. Family and child development expert Dr Gail Gross said “there’s a difference between being responsible and putting somebody in jail.”
She added that when a child commits truancy, it’s a sign that there’s something going on, such as bullying. Dr Travis Stork claimed that it’s another example of hindering people more than helping them. Dr Gross assured that there are other and better ways to discipline a child that will make a difference.