Parents are demanding criminal charges after they say a staffer beat fourth graders with a belt in a Florida parochial school

A man holding his belt in his hands.
Parents in Florida are demanding criminal charges for a school worker who they say used corporal punishment on their children without permission.familylifestyle/Getty Images
  • Parents said kids were "hysterically crying" when a Florida school worker hit them with a belt.

  • Corporal punishment is legal in Florida schools, but requires parental consent.

  • Orlando police responded to the school and are investigating the incident.

Parents of fourth graders at a Florida parochial school are calling for criminal charges for an employee who beat their kids with a belt.

One parent said children in the class were "hysterically crying" and calling their parents during the incident at St. Mark Preparatory School in Orlando, according to WESH, a local NBC affiliate.

Parents said 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, according to the report.

Orlando Police responded to the school on Thursday to a call of a "general disturbance" and are investigating the incident, according to WESH. The Orlando Police Department and St. Mark did not immediately return Insider's request for comment.

One parent who said his son was one of the children who was beaten, told the outlet that the teacher in the classroom pointed out students to another worker who them hit them with his belt.

When the man arrived in the classroom, he "slammed his things down on the desk, took off his belt, and (told them to) line up, and he beat them three times apiece," another parent told WESH.

Florida is one of 20 states that still allow corporal punishment in schools. Corporal punishment in Florida requires express parental consent and school districts that allow corporal punishment must review their policies every three years, according to NPR.

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