The mother, who has chosen to remain anonymous, first received a call from the school, stating her daughter had broken one of the school computers and she would need to appear at the school to pay for a replacement. The fee was 50 dollars.
She went to the school to pay for the allegedly broken computer but was surprised when she was escorted to the principal's office.
There, the woman found her daughter, as well as Principal Melissa Carter and a school clerk, Cecilia Self.
The mother recalled:
"There are no cameras. What are we doing in this place? My daughter and I, alone."
The mother set up her cell phone in her purse and began recording a video. The school explained what would happen when she appeared at the school, but because of a language barrier, she wasn't sure what to expect.
What she caught on video was terribly disturbing.
You can watch the video here (warning: violence):
Instead of having a simple talk about being careful with computers and respecting the school's property, followed by the mother paying the fine, the mother was mortified as Carter and Self proceeded to paddle her six-year-old.
The principal yelled at the student before having her stand and turn to face the desk and bringing out a paddle.
Carter was fully visible in the video as she struck the child with the paddle, while Self held the girl in place, and even pulled her pants up after they'd started to slide from being hit.
The mother later confided, crying:
"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."
Carter then made the girl sit down on a chair while scolding her about the importance of respecting other people's property.
The mother continued to record throughout so she would have evidence to bring justice for her daughter, and other children, after.
"Nobody would have believed me. I sacrificed my daughter, so all parents can realize what's happening in this school."
"I'm going to get justice for my daughter because if I could not do it in front of her, I'm going to do it with justice."
Viewers online were disgusted at the school's behavior and lack of response.
@DavidBegnaud That is down right disgusting!!!!!!!!! I can’t believe an authority figure did this to this child!!!… https://t.co/MJ0YHMNZEO— TonyRico 🇵🇷🇺🇸 (@TonyRico 🇵🇷🇺🇸)1619940957.0
@DavidBegnaud Whatever caused the girl to hurt the computer won't be solved by swats and whatever caused the princi… https://t.co/NbZTI5OAam— Bernard Silverman (@Bernard Silverman)1619940235.0
@DavidBegnaud We have GOT to stop hitting children, claiming it teaches them anything healthy or good. It is accept… https://t.co/lroEYaoIy3— Dr. Betty (@Dr. Betty)1619999251.0
@DavidBegnaud You can do that to a child, but if you did it to another adult, it would be considered assault which… https://t.co/qULrsPhcWB— Donna 🌞 (@Donna 🌞)1619970469.0
@DavidBegnaud Under investigation? This savage should be locked up. How many other children has this “Principal” do… https://t.co/Blhy8Dz7wO— Gerson Borrero (@Gerson Borrero)1619967101.0
Fortunately, the attorney now representing the family, Brent Probinsky, agrees.
"That's aggravated battery. They're using a weapon that can cause severe physical harm."
"The child is terrified. She feels vulnerable. There's nothing she can do in the hands of these adults, who treated her so brutally, savagely, and sadistically."
Probinsky also pointed out while Florida is one of the 19 states that still renders corporal punishment legal, Hendry County School District does not.
The policy reads:
"The superintendent shall designate sanctions for the infractions of rules, excluding corporal punishment."
"[These procedures] do not demean students [and] do not violate any individual rights constitutionally guaranteed to students."
Given the nature of this video, Probinsky likely has the evidence he needs to prove this principal and school clerk worked against multiple policies in their school, and to make it worse, at the expense of one or more of their students.