Hendry County school paddling: Full video and transcription

A WINK News exclusive story has been seen on national news and around the world. A 6-year-old girl was paddled by her principal as punishment at a Hendry County elementary school, despite the district eliminating corporal punishment more than five years ago.

The child’s mom told deputies it was all over damage to a computer.

Thousands of parents are outraged and asking how someone hired to protect children could keep a paddle at school.

Others want to know why adults who were also in the room didn’t stop the beating.

WINK News reached out to the principal and clerk seen in the video by phone and through the school district for comment but have not been received a reply.

For transparency, WINK News and Noticias WINK have transcribed, translated, and posted the entire video here. It was provided to us by the mother.

During the recording, the 6-year-old girl’s mother held the camera, so she is not seen in the video.

A review by the State Attorney’s Office has found that a Central Elementary School principal did not commit a crime when she paddled the girl in front of the child’s mother.

The translators and transcribers had to determine to the best of their ability who was speaking when not in full view of the camera. The Spanish translations were reviewed by no fewer than three individuals.

Those in the video are identified as:
Central Elementary School principal Melissa Carter: MC
Cecilia Self, school clerk: CS
Child’s mother


MC: You can get a spanking, it’s ok. I spanked my son yesterday, ask Ms. Self.

CS: Yeah.

MC: It’s ok. She’s your mom.

CS: (in Spanish) Hers misbehaved and she hit him with the board.

Child’s mother: (in Spanish) I told her, one day they’re going to call the cops. They’re going to be there, and they’re going to give it to you.

CS: Because yeah.

Child’s mother: (in Spanish) Because it’s not right. I’ve explained that to them, but all the time they do this (she does a gesture not seen on camera), but I’ve talked to their dad

CS: Yeah, they say they keep telling her they gonna call the police because they’re acting out too much and everything. And they just look ahead and give their back.

Child’s mother: (in Spanish) because the dad —

MC: You better be glad you’re not my daughter, cus I would spank your butt all the time for acting like that. And I wish you would try to call the police on me. That’s called being a brat. You understand?

Child: Mmhmmm

MC: I wouldn’t give you money for anything. I wouldn’t get you nice clothes. You would get what you got and that’s it. No extra if you want to act like that. I’ve had this talk with you before.

CS: Yeah and not changing.

MC: No, and you’re not changing.

CS: (in Spanish) It’s been talked a lot, and she doesn’t change.

MC: So let’s go. Let’s get it done.

CS: Let me tell you how this works. You’re gonna put your hands here, put your butt out. And you’re going to hold on to this because you cannot put your hands up here.

MC: You put your hands, and it’s gonna hurt.

CS: Come on.

MC: Put your hands on the chair.

CS: Right here. Let me show you how. This is serious, you see.

*girl cries*

CS: finally you understand what’s going on. Wait.

MC: pull her pants up.

CS: Put your butt out. Out.

*MC paddles, girl cries​*

MC: No, put your hands down.

*MC paddles, girl cries​*

*MC paddles, girl cries​*

MC: Now don’t do it again, and sit down. Sit down.

*girl cries​*

MC: You better tell your momma sorry, and you better not treat her like that either.

*girl cries​*

CS: Is this gonna happen again?

Girl: No, no, no *cries​*

CS: never, you’re going to be good at home?

*girl cries​*

CS: Are you gonna respect your mom?

MC: Because I’m gonna tell you what, if your mom wants to come up to the school and spank you, and we can watch, that’s gonna happen. Do you understand me?

Girl: Yes ma’am *cries​*

MC: You better start treating your mom right.

*girl cries​*

MC: And you better start behaving and taking care of the stuff. You don’t keep messing up things.

Girl: Yes ma’am *cries​*

MC: So disappointed in you.

CS: next time you come to the office, this is gonna happen again. Every time you come to the office, you understand that?

*girl cries​*

CS: You want to come back to the office again? Cus you come very often, you wanna keep coming to the office? You gonna come back?

*girl cries​*

MC: You’re gonna come back to the office?

Girl: *cries​* no

MC: No? I better not see you back up here, cus it’s gonna happen again.

*girl cries​*

MC: Now calm down. Calm down before you get sick. Take a deep breath. Take that mask off and take a deep breath.

CS: (In Spanish) Let’s see if this works. Maybe we won’t see her.

*girl cries​*

MC: Mom, if that’s what you need to come do, so that we’re here and we see you, that can happen.

CS: (In Spanish) And you can come here and do it too. If they don’t believe you that you’re gonna do it, get them in the car and bring them to the school.

MC in the background: You don’t keep acting like that *claps​* That’s not the students we have at Central. We don’t like our students to behave that way. You know we don’t teach you that way. Do we?

*girl cries​*

MC: Take that mask off and breath, and calm down.

*girl cries​*

MC: Maybe that will make you think next time you act. You understand?

Girl: Yes ma’am *cries​*

MC: I hope so. Cus that’s not fair to mom. That’s not fair.

CS: She’s missing work to be able to come to do this.

*girl cries​*

CS: Do like that *takes deep breath​*

Girl: No I can’t *cries​*

MC: Yes you can. She’ll be ok mom. She’ll be ok.

Girl’s mother: Ok, Ok. Thank you.

MC: Don’t let her keep acting like that mom. You’re the mom.

Writer:WINK News
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