Letter to the town government of Brookline, Massachusetts from Dr. Madeleine Gómez Letter to the town government of Brookline, Massachusetts from Dr. Madeleine Gómez
October 9, 2004

Dear Town of Brookline,

I applaud you for considering Mr. Ron Goldman's resolution on the corporal punishment of children. I, also, applaud Mr. Ron Goldman for his courageous stance in the support of the rights of the child.

If we are truly to effect violence prevention with the children, it is clear that it will need to begin in the home. What we teach the children, they will learn. We can not expect the double standard whereby an adult can hit a child but not another adult legally, to model non-violence. As Sigmund Freud stated, "The first human who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization." We must strive to model and teach non-violent problem solving approaches to the stresses and challenges of everyday that we all encounter. I'm sure I need not remind you that there was a time in our history that it was legal to hit your wife. This, sadly, continues in some other countries. Without economic or voting power, children are the last to receive protection and advocacy, though as our most helpless and dependent members of society, they should be among the first to receive help, protection and support.

Lastly, I must add that the recent research regarding the effects of violence on the brain are quite clear. Violence impacts the brain and alters it's normal functioning thereby leaving the victim with fewer choices and lowered potential. Clearly, every child should be given the optimal start which does not include violence - a damaging process.

It is my hope that the resolution currently under consideration will raise awareness that the seeds of violence can be found in the home. And, that this can change.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Madeleine Y. Gómez, Ph.D.
President, PsycHealth, Ltd.
Assistant Professor, Northwestern University
Board Member, Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education
Adjunct Visiting Professor, Roosevelt University
Clinical Supervisor, Hartgrove Hospital
Leadership Committee, Southern Poverty Law Center

And... Mother of 4 children

Read The resolution, "Article 22"

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