Colorado teacher dragged student who refused to stand for Pledge of Allegiance, police say

Colorado middle school teacher Karen Smith has been charged after allegedly assaulting a student who refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. (Lafayette Police Department)

A Colorado middle school teacher is facing charges after allegedly assaulting a child who refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance earlier this month.

Karen Smith, a physical education teacher at Angevine Middle School in Lafayette, Colorado, was placed on paid administrative leave following the February 1 incident, according to the Boulder Valley School District.

Lafayette police said Smith grabbed a boy by the jacket, lifted him to his feet and dragged him out of the class after he refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Smith is now being charged with child abuse and assault, according to KCNC.

RELATED: Farmington Hills teacher accused of assaulting 6th-grader who sat during Pledge of Allegiance

A 1943 United States Supreme Court decision — the West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette — prohibits public school officials from forcing students to salute the flag while reciting the pledge. According to The Daily Camera, the Boulder Valley School District allows students to sit or stand during the pledge.

A substitute teacher has been hired to take Smith's place. The district said Smith has been them for 20 years.

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