There is a growing body of medical research supporting
the potentially devastating long term effects of corporal
punishment of a child. The lingering effects including
emotional and behavioral difficulties and may include
impaired brain development.
On top of that kids who are physically punished are
disproportionately predisposed to violent behavior
and thus involvement in the criminal justice system.
And then there are the parents, some of the them very
well meaning, disproportionately African-American,
who end up in the system as well.
Still, changing long held beliefs and practices around
corporal punishment has not been easy. Dane County
District Attorney Ismael Ozanne has made it a priority
and his office is partnering with the UW School of
Medicine and Public Health and others in sponsoring
a conference entitled Cultural Context of Corporal
Punishment: Keeping Kids Safe. Featuring national
experts and interactive sessions, the conference is
an opportunity to develop strategies for promoting
positive, non-violent parenting.
Equally important is a community forum on corporal
punishment the evening before the conference that
will help inform conference presenters and participants.
This is an extremely important community conversation
and we applaud Ozanne and other organizers for making