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Colorado Teacher Charged With Child Abuse, Assault After Forcing Student to Stand for Pledge of Allegiance

Authorities have charged a Colorado teacher with child abuse and third-degree assault amid claims she assaulted a student who refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Karen Smith, a 20-year employee with the Boulder Valley School District, was placed on paid administrative leave earlier this month following reports she forcibly lifted a student to his feet by his jacket when he didn’t stand for the pledge, Fox 31 Denver reported. Smith later removed the student from her class.

The Boulder County District Attorney’s office announced formal charges against the physical education teacher on Tuesday. She was processed at the local police department and later released with a summons.

Principal Mike Medina penned a letter to students and parents with an update on the investigation.

“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,” he wrote.

Smith remains on paid administrative leave from the district.

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