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Crime Fla. Principal Under Investigation After Video Shows Her Paddling 6-Year-Old Girl

23:05  04 may  2021
23:05  04 may  2021 Source:   people.com

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A Florida elementary school principal is being investigated after a video of her paddling a 6-year-old girl surfaced online.

a person standing in front of a computer screen: GMA © Provided by People GMA

Clewiston Police are investigating Melissa Carter, principal of Central Elementary School, for paddling a student in front of her mother to punish her, a police spokesperson tells PEOPLE.

The incident occurred on April 13, when the girl's mother received a call from the school saying her daughter had damaged a computer. The mother was asked to pay $50 for the damage, local station WINK reports.

When she arrived at the school, the mother was taken to Carter's office, where her daughter, Carter and a clerk at school, were waiting.

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  Video of Principal Allegedly Paddling Child Watched Over 300,000 Times Some Florida school districts allow the use of corporal punishment but not the district where the principal works.The video is part of a news report from Southwest Florida's WINK News, which first reported the incident on April 29. It appears to show Central Elementary School Principal Melissa Carter paddling a student at the school. The school is located in Clewiston, Florida.

"My daughter was already in the office," the girl's mother told WINK in Spanish. "The principal started to scream."

The mother, who has not been identified to protect her privacy, began to get nervous.

"There are no cameras," she said. "What are we doing in this place? My daughter and I, alone."

That's when she hit record on her phone and filmed the paddling.

"Nobody would have believed me," she said, WINK reports. "I sacrificed my daughter, so all parents can realize what's happening in this school."

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While Florida is one of 19 states where corporal punishment, which includes paddling and spanking, is legal, the Hendry County District Schools policy does not permit it.

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"That's aggravated battery," the family's attorney, Brent Probinsky, told WINK. "They're using a weapon that can cause severe physical, harm."

On April 14, Clewiston police received a call from Hendry Regional Medical Center staff "requesting an officer be dispatched to a complaint of a child with injuries accompanied by the child's mother who requested a police report," states a police press release.

a person standing in front of a computer screen: Florida is one of 19 states that permits corporal punishment, but the practice is prohibited in the school district © GMA Florida is one of 19 states that permits corporal punishment, but the practice is prohibited in the school district

The Department of Children and Families and the Hendry County Sheriff's Office were provided information about the incident.

Probinsky did not immediately return PEOPLE's request for comment Tuesday. A spokesperson from the school district declined comment to PEOPLE, citing an ongoing investigation.

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