PROCLAMATION signed by African American Leaders
OPPOSING SCHOOL CORPORAL PUNISHMENT
WHEREAS, corporal punishment is defined as the intentional infliction of physical pain for purposes of stopping or preventing misbehavior, and
WHEREAS, corporal punishment in schools is disproportionately used on African-American children, and
WHEREAS, anger and violence can get out of control with corporal punishment causing injuries such as bleeding, bruises, and broken bones, and
WHEREAS, corporal punishment conveys a message to children that violence is an acceptable method for dealing with conflict, and
WHEREAS, overwhelming evidence suggests that other methods of discipline work better like setting reasonable rules and standards, correcting children in a respectful, non-violent and consistent manner, praise and reward for appropriate behavior.
WHEREAS, all children deserve to be able to learn in a safe and supportive learning environment free from corporal punishment.
NOW, THEREFORE, we urge all school boards to ban corporal punishment and we urge state legislators in all states allowing its use to pass legislation ending school corporal punishment.
SIGNATURES OF AFRICAN AMERICAN LEADERS ON A PROCLAMATION CALLING FOR A BAN ON SCHOOL CORPORAL PUNISHMENT 12-04
|Dr. Alvin Poussaint
||Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and Judge Baker Children's Center; Boston, MA
||Chairman of the Board of NAACP, Baltimore, MD
||Past President & CEO of NAACP; Baltimore, MD
|Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr.
||Founder & President of PUSH/EXCEL; Chicago, IL
|Marc H. Morial
||President & CEO of Urban League; New York, NY
|Dr. Michelle Clark
||Committee on Black Psychiatrists, American Psychiatric Assn.; Los Angeles, CA
|Dr. Winston Price
||President of National Medical Association; Washington, DC
|Marion Wright Edelman
||President of Children's Defense Fund; Washington, DC
|Dr. Deloris M. Saunders
||President of National Alliance of Black School Educators; Washington, DC
|Dr. Michael Lomax
||President & CEO of United Negro College Fund; Fairfax, VA
|Brother Reynaldo S. Taylor
||President, Nat'l Black Catholic Seminarian Assn; Cincinnati, OH
|Bishop E. Earl McCloud
||Ecumenical Officer, AME Church; Atlanta, GA
|Bishop Phillip Robert Cousin
||Fourth Episcopal District, AME Church; Chicago, IL
|Bishop Cornal Garnett Henning
||Eighth Episcopal District, AME Church; New Orleans, LA
|Bishop McKinley Young
||Eleventh Episcopal District, AME Church; Jacksonville, FL
|Dr. Carl C. Bell
||President & CEO of Community Mental Health Council; Chicago, IL
|Dr. Marilyn Benoit
||Past President of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; Washington, DC
|Yvette McGee Brown
||President of Child and Family Advocacy Center; Columbus, OH
|Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth
||Past President of Southern Christian Leadership Conference
||President of National Association of Black Social Workers; Washington, DC
Compiled by Dr. Alvin Poussaint and EPOCH-USA (End Physical Punishment of Children), Columbus, OH 43215, Nadine Block Co-Chair
More information on the problems of corporal punishment and especially its effects on the African-American population
FACT SHEET ON SCHOOL CORPORAL PUNISHMENT
Corporal punishment is associated with poorer academic achievement, more vandalism, more truancy, and higher dropout rates.
Over 100 nations have banned school corporal punishment. Twenty-nine states have banned it and 94 of the 100 largest U.S. school systems have done so. In many of the largest cities where corporal punishment is allowed, African-American students make up a majority of the school population.
Twenty-one states still allow corporal punishment. Over 300,000 students were hit in U.S. schools in 2002-03 according to the U.S. Department of Education.
According to the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, African-American school children are disproportionately affected by corporal punishment. They are hit at twice the rate of other students, and in some large city school districts, they are hit at five times the rate of other children.
The majority of states with the most school corporal punishment also have the highest proportion of their adult population incarcerated. In 2003, about one million African American men were incarcerated.
There are psychological roots for support of corporal punishment. Corporal punishment was widely used on slaves in the U.S. Slaves, in turn, hit their own children so they would be controlled and "invisible" to slavers who might take them.
Corporal punishment is not used as a "last resort" according to many studies. It is often used as a first punishment for minor and non-violent misbehaviors.
Anger and violence can easily escalate out of control. Bruises, bleeding and broken bones are not uncommon paddling injuries.
More than fifty national organizations have called for a ban on school corporal punishment. They include the National Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Bar Association, the National PTA, the National Education Association, the Child Welfare League of America, the American Association of School Administrators and many more. The United Methodist Church, the second biggest Protestant denomination, has called for a ban on school corporal punishment.
Source: EPOCH-USA (End Physical Punishment of Children),
155 W. Main Street, #1603, Columbus, OH 43215 (614)221-8829
Contact: Nadine Block, Co-Chair EPOCH-USA
Date: December, 2004
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