File this in the: What were they thinking folder.  A shocking story out of Florida (where all the shocking stories come from) involving a 6-year-old who was paddled three times by a school principal.

Several outlets report the child was in trouble for causing $50 worth of damage to a computer screen. The punishment: the paddle.

The incident happened in the Clewiston Central Elementary School and occurred right in front of the young girl's mother, who captured most of the paddling on her cell phone. The mother, who doesn't speak fluent English, told news outlets what she recalled through an interpreter, via the NY POST:

So she hid her phone in her purse and decided to record the brutal punishment — fearing that authorities wouldn’t believe her otherwise.

“Nobody would have believed me,” the mom told the outlet. “I sacrificed my daughter, so all parents can realize what’s happening in this school.”

She took her daughter to a doctor later that day to document the red marks and bruises caused by the paddle, the report said.

Reports say the State Attorney's Office is investigating possible criminal charges against the principal and the school clerk who held the child in place to receive the corporal punishment.

It's stunning that a school principal in 2021 thinks corporal punishment is still an acceptable form of discipline. Moreover, that a person in a position of authority and leadership in an school would find it acceptable to use this form of punishment on a child so young.

As the father of a five-year-old, I would have taken my son aside and explained to him why what he did was wrong. Had he caused the damage intentionally, I would have worked out an appropriate punishment at home.  And, frankly, I probably would have lost my mind had I been in the principal's office as she tried to paddle my child.

Interestingly, had the mother in this case intervened, the principal likely wouldn't be the focus of the story and wouldn't be put in a under the spotlight for her inability to find an appropriate sanction for the offense of damaging a computer screen.

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