Alvin F. Poussaint, MD Tel: (617) 278-4105
Judge Baker Children’s Center
53 Parker Hill Avenue
Boston, MA 02120-3225
For release: November 17, 2004
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS….Dr. Alvin Poussaint, a Professor Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the Judge Baker Children’s Center in Boston, known to many Americans for his work on the Cosby Show, is one of several African American leaders calling on the Dallas Independent School District to ban corporal punishment and asking Dallas citizens to support the ban.
“According to public records, students paddled in the Dallas Independent School District in the 2003-04 school year were overwhelmingly African American children and overwhelmingly African American boys,” said Dr. Pousssaint. “One second grade African American boy was paddled twenty five times and eight African American boys were paddled more than ten times each,” he said. “This is outrageous and must stop. Corporal punishment does not prevent misbehavior. If it worked, educators wouldn’t be hitting kids multiple times. The more children are hit, the more likely they are to be aggressive and violent. It is a factor in creating violence in our communities,” he said.
Prominent African American leaders have joined Dr. Poussaint in asking all school boards and all state legislatures to ban school corporal punishment immediately. African American leaders who have joined Dr. Poussaint in calling for a ban on school corporal punishment include:
- Julian Bond, Chairman of the Board of NAACP
- Kweisi Mfume, President and CEO of NAACP
- Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr., Founder and President of PUSH/EXCEL
- Marc Morial , President, CEO of the Urban League
- Bishop Phillip Robert Cousin, Fourth District, AME Church, Chicago, IL
- Dr. Michael Lomax, President of the United Negro College Fund
- Bishop McKinley Young, Eleventh District, AME Church, Jacksonville, FL
- Marion Wright Edelman, President of Children’s Defense Fund, Washington DC
The National Medical Association and its President, Dr. Winston Price, have joined Dr. Poussaint’s initiative.
“Members of the Dallas Independent School District have an opportunity to correct an injustice and to teach children that the way to solve problems does not involve violence by adults,” said Dr. Poussaint.
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