- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Colorado middle school teacher is facing criminal charges for forcibly removing a student from class over his refusal to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Boulder County District Attorney formally charged Karen Smith, 59, with one count of child abuse with injury, and one count of third-degree assault over a Feb. 1 incident at Angevine Middle School in Lafayette. The physical education teacher’s actions sparked national headlines and a 12-day investigation.

“Today we learned that the Boulder County District Attorney’s office has formally charged Angevine Middle School Physical Education Teacher Karen Smith,” said a Boulder Valley School District statement issued Tuesday, a local ABC affiliate reported. “Ms. Smith has served Boulder Valley School District for 20 years and is currently on paid administrative leave.

“We are cooperating with the District Attorney’s Office and respect their decision on this matter,” the statement continued. “We are unable to comment further because it remains a personnel matter that the school district is actively investigating.”

Ms. Smith is accused of lifting the student by his jacket to remove him from the classroom. She was processed Tuesday by the Lafayette Police Department
and released with a summons on all charges.

She was replaced by a substitute and parents were sent a letter with the district attorney’s decision.

The school district’s policy permits students to sit or stand during the pledge, the station reported.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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