Parents of fourth-grade students at St. Mark Preparatory School in Orlando, Florida, are calling for criminal charges against a school worker who allegedly used corporal punishment on their children without permission. According to parents, a male staff member at the school beat more than a dozen fourth graders with a belt after one child was caught writing on a desk. The incident resulted in children “hysterically crying” and calling their parents for help.
Orlando Police responded to a call of a “general disturbance” at the school and are currently investigating the incident. The employee in question allegedly pointed out students to another worker who then hit them with a belt. Witnesses reported that the staff member entered the classroom, slammed his belongings on the desk, took off his belt, and instructed the students to line up before striking each child three times.
Florida allows corporal punishment in schools, but it requires express parental consent. School districts that permit corporal punishment must review their policies every three years. The incident at St. Mark Preparatory School has sparked concerns among parents regarding the use of corporal punishment in educational settings.