14/08/2014 12:53 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Parents Sue School Principal For Beating Five-Year-Old

A couple are suing an elementary school for £1.1 million after their five-year-old son was allegedly beaten with a paddle by the headteacherl.

Elizabeth Boyd, the ex-head of Sunbright School in Tennessee, has been issued with the lawsuit by Sandra Hall and Jason Williams who say their son Lukas was left badly bruised and too terrified to return to class after his ordeal.

The Mail reports that corporal punishment is legal in Tennessee schools, but each district sets its own guidelines. Lukas's mum and dad say they had given verbal permission for him to be 'gently swatted' if he was naughty, but that Dr Boyd hit him eight times with a paddle. The incident occurred in August last year, after Lukas reportedly threw some crayons in class.

Dr Elizabeth Boyd has been charged with child abuse and has been suspended from teaching indefinitely.

Lukas is now being educated at home, and school district officials have said they will look again at the guidelines on discipline following the incident.