Polk family says teachers forced 7-year-old to scrub floors with toothbrush as punishment

Posted at 10:41 AM, Apr 30, 2018

LAKE ALFRED, Fla. — A Polk County family is outraged after they say their 7-year-old was forced to scrub school floors with a toothbrush as punishment.

The elementary student reportedly misbehaved last week at Lake Alfred Elementary, when her teacher sent the student next door for "corrective action."

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According to the family, the 7-year-old was told to scrub the floors with a toothbrush, for excessive talking.

"She could of rearranged your bookshelf, sorted the books in ABC order, she could have done any of that but on the floor was just unacceptable," Ashley Kirpech, the child's mother, said.

They also claim teachers told her to clean the entire floor, and when she was done she was told to then clean the counters.

Family members say she was forced to do this throughout the day and was not able to participate in regular classroom activities. 

"You would think when you send your child to school that this is going to be the last thing you would hear happening to your child, but here we are," Kenneth Gamble, the father of the girl, said.

The family says they were not made aware of the misbehavior or the punishment their daughter received. The parents only found out after their 7-year-old was complaining of back pain after school and they asked why she was in so much pain.

"I want something to happen to the teacher, not just so our child, bit any child doesn’t have to go through this again," Kirpech said.


Polk Schools released the following statement:

“We are deeply concerned about the allegations regarding two teachers at Lake Alfred Elementary. We have begun a formal investigation, and both teachers have been placed on administrative leave. This matter is also being investigated by law enforcement and the Department of Children and Families, with our full cooperation.
Our schools are required to follow a Code of Student Conduct; it is expected that all disciplinary measures be handled in a manner that is respectful to the
student and preserves their dignity. If true, the allegations described at Lake Alfred Elementary are completely unacceptable.”

This is an excerpt from a letter written to ABC Action News from the student’s Aunt, Kiara Francisco:

“Polk County, we must stand firm when times demand social justice! The School Board must stand true to their words and handle this situation with the appropriate and necessary repercussions. These teachers abused their roles of leadership and first did harm to this child. How many times has such disgusting behavior been displayed with no consequences for the ones whom we inherently trust to empower our youth? They do not deserve to teach the youth of OUR tomorrow. To my family, friends, and those who are extensions of us…we must STAND OUT & STAND UP right now!”