Teacher suspended for allegedly assaulting student who refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance

A physical education teacher assaulted a student for not standing during the Pledge of Allegiance, according to police.

That teacher, Karen Smith, has been placed on paid administrative leave from Angevine Middle School in Lafayette, Colo.

Lafayette police commander Brian Rosipajla told FOX31 that detectives are looking into exactly what kind of actions Smith took to force the child, a male student, to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

A letter sent to parents by the principal regarding the incident reads:

“We will have a substitute teacher working with some of our PE classes for the time being. While I cannot share much information, following an incident today at school, Ms. Smith was placed on paid administrative leave. We are working closely with our partners at the Lafayette Police Department. We believe in due process and therefore ask that everyone respect Ms. Smith’s privacy at this time.”

The incident happened around noon on Thursday. The Boulder Valley School District has a policy that allows students to decide for themselves if they want to sit or stand for the pledge.

Parents reacting to the story told CBS Denver that the story has been “blown out of proportion.”

One parent said her daughter had described Smith as “strict” but never had any issues with her. Smith is a 20-year veteran teacher. No charges have been filed at this time.

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