A Colorado teacher is facing child abuse and assault charges for allegedly forcing a student to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, CBS Denver reports.
Police said Karen Smith, a physical education teacher at Angevine Middle School, grabbed a boy by his jacket, lifted him to his feet and took him out of class earlier this month for refusing to stand for the Pledge.
Smith, a 20-year veteran of the Boulder Valley School District, turned herself in on Tuesday and faces charges of child abuse as well as assault in the third degree. She has been placed on administrative leave.
“We are cooperating with the District Attorney’s Office and respect their decision on this matter,” the school district said in a statement. “We are unable to comment further because it remains a personnel matter that the school district is actively investigating.”
District spokesman Randy Barber told the Denver Post the school allows students to stand or sit during the pledge.
A parent told the outlet Smith was a “strict” teacher but had not caused any problems before.