Dr. Stacey Patton
Spare the Kids
Why Whupping Children Won't Save Black America
Wednesday, April 26, 7pm
A challenge to the cultural tradition of corporal punishment in Black homes and its connections to racial violence in America
Why do so many African Americans have such a special attachment to whupping children? Studies show that nearly 80 percent of black parents see spanking, popping, pinching, and beating as reasonable, effective ways to teach respect and to protect black children from the streets, incarceration, encounters with racism, or worse. However, the consequences of this widely accepted approach to child-rearing are far-reaching and seldom discussed. Dr. Stacey Patton’s extensive research suggests that corporal punishment is a crucial factor in explaining why black folks are subject to disproportionately higher rates of school suspensions and expulsions, criminal prosecutions, improper mental health diagnoses, child abuse cases, and foster care placements, which too often funnel abused and traumatized children into the prison system.
Weaving together race, religion, history, popular culture, science, policing, psychology, and personal testimonies, Dr. Patton connects what happens at home to what happens in the streets in a way that is thought-provoking, unforgettable, and deeply sobering. Spare the Kids is not just a book. It is part of a growing national movement to provide positive, nonviolent discipline practices to those rearing, teaching, and caring for children of color.
Dr. Stacey Patton is an adoptee, child abuse survivor, and former foster youth turned award-winning journalist, child advocate, and assistant professor of multimedia journalism at Morgan State University. Dr. Patton was formerly a senior enterprise reporter with the Chronicle of Higher Education, where she covered graduate education, faculty life and research, and race and diversity issues. She writes frequently about race and child welfare issues for the Washington Post, Al Jazeera, BBC News, and The Root.com, and she is a weekly columnist for DAME Magazine. She has appeared on Democracy Now, CBS News, and programs on Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, and the BBC. Dr. Patton has won journalism awards from the National Association of Black Journalists, Scripps Howard Foundation, William Randolph Hearst Foundation, and the National Education Writers Association, and, in 2015, she was the recipient of the Vernon Jarrett Medal for Journalistic Excellence in reporting on race. In addition to her work as a journalist, Dr. Patton is the author of a memoir, That Mean Old Yesterday, published in 2008 by Simon & Schuster. Dr. Patton also travels the United States delivering keynote addresses and conducting cultural competency trainings for child welfare and juvenile justice professionals. In 2016, she received an award from the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children for her service and advancement of cultural competency in child maltreatment prevention and intervention. Dr. Patton is also the creator of www.sparethekids.com, a web portal that offers education on child development issues and positive discipline techniques as alternatives to the physical punishment of children.