Teacher accused of assaulting student who refused to stand for Pledge of Allegiance

The American flag hangs in a Peck Elementary School classroom Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, in Chicago. Illinois education officials expect more than a million students, parents and teachers to give opinions about what they like and dislike at school in a first-of-its-kind survey. The online survey began Friday and runs through March 31. A 2011 state law requires that children in grades 6-12 and teachers in all elementary and secondary schools be given the survey. They and parents can choose not to participate. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

DENVER, Colo. (WFLA) – A 20-year veteran teacher is on paid administrative leave after she allegedly assaulted a middle school student who refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, the Denver Post reported.

Karen Smith, a physical education teacher at Angevine Middle School, which is about 20 miles north of Denver, was placed on leave Thursday.

In a letter to families obtained by Denver CBS affiliate KCNC-TV, the school’s principal, Mike Medina said there was an “incident” involving Ms. Smith, but he could not elaborate.

Dear Angevine Middle School Families,

I hope everyone is having a good evening.

I am reaching out to you tonight to let you know that 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.

We are dedicated, as always, to supporting our students and ensuring that we have qualified educators working with them during their physical education time.

Thank you for your patience and support. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Mike Medina

Principal

Angevine Middle School

The Lafayette Police Department was called to the school around noon Thursday. The agency later confirmed it was investigating reports the teacher assaulted a student who refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Parents tell the local affiliate they know Smith as a “strict” teacher, but they believe the story has been “blown out of proportion.”

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