Florida principal filmed paddling 6 year old
A Clewiston, Fla., school principal is seen on video striking a 6-year-old girl with a wooden paddle in an incident that the child’s mother says happened without her consent, CBS Miami reported on Monday.
Central Elementary School Principal Melissa Carter is seen in the video using a paddle to spank the student while the school clerk, Cecilia Self, holds the girl’s hands down.
After the beating, Carter starts to berate the student in front of her mother, saying, “If your mom wants to come up to the school and spank you, and we can watch, that’s going to happen.”
According to CBS Miami, the girl’s mother said that before she was brought into Carter’s office, she noticed there weren’t any surveillance cameras there so she secretly recorded the incident.
CBS did not specify why the child was being disciplined.
The mother spoke with CBS Fort Myers affiliate WINK about the disturbing video, stating she didn’t feel like she could intervene because she’s an undocumented immigrant.
“The hatred with which she hit my daughter, I mean, it was a hatred that, really — I’ve never hit my daughter like she hit her. I had never hit her. I sacrificed my daughter, so all the parents can realize what’s happening in this school,” the unnamed woman said.
Corporal punishment is legal in schools in 19 states, including Florida. But attorney Brent Probinsky, who is representing the family, told CBS News it is not legal in Hendry County, where the incident occurred.
“I think the mom was intimidated. The mom didn’t expect this to happen. It happened very quickly and the mom said I was so astounded, I was so shocked, I was just frozen for a few moments when she was paddling my child,” Probinsky said.
The attorney said he wants Carter to be arrested and never wants her to work in a school district again. He added that she’s currently on administrative leave from the school and the state’s attorney’s office is investigating the incident.
“This is child abuse. She should be charged with a crime and suffer those consequences,” said Probinsky.