No charges for principal who paddled 6-year-old girl

Florida principal under investigation for paddling 6-year-old student in front of her mother

A Florida elementary school principal who repeatedly spanked a 6-year-old student with a paddle will not be prosecuted, the Associated Press reports.

Although corporal punishment is reportedly not allowed in the school district in which the incident occurred, the principal “appeared to have explicit permission from the child’s mother,” AP reports.

According to the family’s attorney, Brent Probinsky, the mother did not give permission for the spanking, and regardless of whether she had, the principal and staff member broke the law by violating the school district’s prohibition of corporal punishment, Probinsky said according to AP.

According to the report, officials say the mother asked if a school staff member could spank her daughter after causing damage to a computer screen.

Officials say that a staff member explained that the mother would have to give permission in person and be present for the punishment, which included the principal and the school clerk who was there to provide Spanish-to-English interpretations.

According to AP, the mother told investigators that there was a language barrier, and she didn’t understand what the principal was going to do; however, the school staff member said their initial telephone conversation was in Spanish.

During the incident, the mother secretly recorded a video that she later turned over to law enforcement.

In the video, which has since gone viral, the mother does not object to punishment at any point.

Previous reports say the mother was “hesitant to step in and stop the principal during the incident because of her immigration status, fearing she and her husband could face deportation to Mexico if she reported what happened.”

According to AP, prosecutors noted in the memo that edited portions of the original video released to the news media resulted in an incomplete or misleading account of the events surrounding the spanking.

According to AP, officials say that the mother can be heard thanking the principal near the end of the video, a portion that was not included in a video shared by KPRC 2 via WPLG.

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