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NPO publishes blog articles to inform and to stimulate conversation about issues of importance to NPO's mission.  All blog articles express the opinions of the authors as individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of National Parents Organization, its Board of Directors, or its executives.  

I discussed our campaign against Dallas Area Rapid Transit's anti-father bus ads this morning on the nationally-syndicated Mike Gallagher Show. According to Talkers Magazine, Gallagher is the eighth most listened-to talk radio host in America and has over four million weekly listeners. Gallagher (pictured) was very sympathetic, and tied the ads to what he described as the general disparagement and unfair stereotyping of fathers. As an example, Gallagher pointed to the Vincent Romero case in Arizona, where an 8-year-old boy shot and killed his father and another man. Gallagher played clips of numerous TV guests asserting that the father must have abused the boy in order for the boy to shoot the father. Yet according to today's New York Times:
Although investigators initially said they thought the boy might have suffered severe physical or sexual trauma, they have found no evidence of abuse, said Roy Melnick, the police chief in St. Johns, Ariz., where the shootings occurred.
Moreover, the Associated Press reports:
[F]riends and neighbors disputed a suggestion that the boy had been abused...Hundreds of mourners packed a funeral Mass on Monday for Romero at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church... Relatives and friends painted a picture of Romero as a caring father who seemed to be doing all he could to raise a polite and respectful boy. "They were always together doing things as a family, fishing, hunting," said Carlos Diaz, a cousin of Romero's current wife. About 600 mourners filled the church in this rural town of about 4,000 people 170 miles northeast of Phoenix. Those who could not get in crowded around an open door or sat on chairs set up outside... Prosecutors said there was no record of any complaints filed about the boy with Arizona Child Protective Services and that the youngster had no disciplinary record at school. Romero had full custody of the child. The boy's mother lives in Mississippi, according to officials... Carl Hamblin, a neighbor who had once coached the father in Little League, said he often saw Romero and his son at football games or out in the yard, playing baseball. "He appeared to be doing the right things as a dad," Hamblin said. Neighbors Flynt and Amber Smith described the father and son as "two peas in a pod." "They were good people," Amber Smith said.
Gallagher said that if the boy had shot the mother, far fewer people would be tarring her as violent or as a child abuser. I made the point that the vast majority of parental murder and abuse of children is perpetrated by mothers, not fathers. To learn more about child abuse, click here. I also pointed out that it is certainly true that the fact that mothers spend more time with children influences this statistic. However, there is no basis to the cultural prejudice that it's fathers and only fathers who are a threat to their children.

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