A Colorado gym teacher accused of forcing a student to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance was reportedly charged with child abuse and assault Tuesday.
Karen Smith, who taught at Angevine Middle School in Lafayette, Colo., faces child abuse/recklessly with injury and third-degree assault charges, FOX31 reported, citing the Boulder District Attorney’s Office. She was released on Wednesday with a summons.
Smith was placed on paid administrative leave earlier this month after she was accused of forcefully making a student stand for the Pledge of Allegiance by grabbing his jacket to pull him to his feet, officials said. Smith has been an employee with the Boulder Valley School District for 20 years.
Angevine Middle School Principal Mike Medina said in a previous statement the school was working with police. He added a substitute teacher will fill in for Smith.
Medina sent a note to students’ families on Tuesday informing them charges had been filed.
“Angevine and the Boulder Valley School District are cooperating with the District Attorney’s Office and respect their decision on this matter,” Medina said in a statement released to FOX31. “While we are unable to share more because it is a legal and personnel matter that the school district is actively investigating, I, again, want to reaffirm that our focus remains firmly on our students.”