A veteran Colorado teacher is now facing criminal charges of child abuse and assault after allegedly forcing a young student to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance earlier this month, according to reports. Today we learned that the Boulder District Attorney's Office has formally charged Angevine Middle School Physical Education Teacher Karen Smith.
In a letter to parents at the time of the incident, Angevine Middle School Principal Mike Medina said that district policy allows for students to stand or sit for the Pledge of Allegiance.
Smith was processed at the Lafayette Police Department on Wednesday and was released with a summons.
The physical education teacher was charged on Tuesday in connection with the incident that took place on February 1 at the Lafayette school.
The school district released a statement to parents after the arrest saying they "are co-operating with the District Attorney's Office and respect their decision on this matter".
Smith is on paid administrative leave from the school district.
Lafayette police say Ms Smith - described as a teacher with 20 years' experience - grabbed the boy by the jacket, lifted him to his feet and dragged him out of the class.
"I, again, want to reaffirm that our focus remains firmly on our students", Medina said in the letter.
On Tuesday, she was charged with child abuse/recklessly with injury and third-degree assault charges, according to FOX 31 in Denver who cited the Boulder District Attorney's Office.
A 1943 Supreme Court decision ruled that students cannot be compelled to salute or stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, citing the the First Amendment's Free Speech Clause.