A headteacher was caught hitting a 6-year-old girl with a paddle, as seen in horrifying footage secretly filmed by the child’s mum.
Melissa Carter, the principal at Central Elementary School in Clewiston, Hendry County, Florida, was punishing the young girl who was accused of causing $50 (£36) damage to a computer.
In the disturbing clip, the girl is forced to bend over and appears to be restrained by school clerk Cecilia Self while Carter stands to the side holding a wooden bat.
She then whacks the child with the paddle, causing her to flinch and stand up, only to be scolded for reacting.
“No! Put your hands down!” the teacher shouts.
The teacher then hits the child twice more, while she cries and begs: “No! No!”
Her horrified mother watched the scene and said she did not understand what was going on because of a language barrier, so secretly recorded it on her phone.
The mum, who speaks Spanish, told Wink News: “The hatred with which she hit my daughter, I mean it was a hatred that.
“Really, I had never hit my daughter as she hit her, I had never hit her.”
The mum said she had gone to the school to pay the cost of fixing the computer and was shocked when the beating began.
“Nobody would have believed me,” the mum said in tears. “I sacrificed my daughter, so all parents can realise what’s happening in this school.”
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Corporal punishment is banned in Hendry County, where the child was hit, but police claim a crime was not committed.
A police report was filed against Carter and Self on April 13.
But Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden said: “This is up to the State Attorney but from my perspective, I saw no crime being committed.”
A note from the State Attorney’s Office stated: “It is clear using a paddle to spank a child is not likely to cause death or great bodily harm,” as reported by Wink News.
There has been public outcry over the video and headteacher Carter was placed on administrative leave.