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Principal of Florida school spanks six-year-old pupil with a paddle

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Principal of Florida school is facing criminal charges after spanking a six-year-old with a paddle in front of the girl’s shocked mom as punishment for damaging a computer

  • The six-year-old girl was accused of $50 of damage to computers at school
  • Her mother arrived at Central Elementary in Clewiston on April 13 to pay
  • She was taken into the office of principal Melissa Carter
  • The mom does not speak fluent English, and was confused by the events 
  • Carter then brought out a wooden paddle and smacked the girl on the behind
  • The mother did not know what to do, so filmed the incident as evidence
  • She said she ‘sacrificed’ her daughter to show what was happening at school
  • She says she worried that if she intervened in the punishment she too would be in trouble, with her immigration status questioned 
  • Corporal punishment is allowed at some school districts but not Hendry County

The principal of a Florida school could be facing criminal charges after she was filmed spanking a crying six-year-old girl with a paddle, while her confused mother watched.

Melissa Carter, head of Central Elementary School in Clewiston, is under investigation by the police, WINK News reported.

Corporal punishment is not permitted in Hendry County school district.

The unnamed mother said she was called to her daughter’s school after the officials complained she had caused $50 worth of damage to a school computer.

The mother, who does not speak fluent English, said she did not understand what was happening as she was arrived at the school on April 13 to pay the $50 fine.

She claims she was taken to the principal’s office where her daughter was waiting.

Melissa Carter, left, is seen spanking the six-year-old child with a wooden paddle on April 13

The little girl can be heard whimpering and crying as she is beaten with the paddle at school

The little girl can be heard whimpering and crying as she is beaten with the paddle at school

Central Elementary School in Clewiston, Florida, is yet to respond to the video

Central Elementary School in Clewiston, Florida, is yet to respond to the video

Carter then brought out a wooden paddle and smacked the girl on the behind. 

‘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,’ the tearful mother told WINK News.

‘I had never hit her.’

She said: ‘My daughter was already in the office. The principal started to scream.

‘There were no cameras. What are we doing in this place? My daughter and I, alone.’

She said she did not know what to do, and worried that if she intervened in the punishment she too would be in trouble, with her immigration status questioned.

She filmed the incident, not knowing what else she should do.

‘Nobody would have believed me.

‘I sacrificed my daughter, so all parents can realize what’s happening in this school.’

Melissa Carter, the principal of Central Elementary School, could face criminal charges

Melissa Carter, the principal of Central Elementary School, could face criminal charges

Cecilia Self, right, was asked to translate but the mother claims she did not do so

Cecilia Self, right, was asked to translate but the mother claims she did not do so

Bret Provinsky, the attorney for the mother, said the State Attorney’s Office is reviewing the case to see whether they pursue criminal charges against Carter and Cecilia Self, the clerk of the school, who was seen in the room in the video.

Self, the clerk, was designated to translate for the mother, but the mother said she failed to do so. 

On the website for the school district, it states: ‘The superintendent shall designate sanctions for the infractions of rules, excluding corporal punishment.’

Neither Carter nor the school has responded to requests for comment. 

‘I don’t mind discipline with permission – but not when there’s a language barrier,’ said Ruby Monroe, whose grandson attends the school.

She told WINK News: ‘I worked for the state of Florida for 34 years and we always had an interpreter.’

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