Middle school teacher charged with abuse after student refused to stand for Pledge

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LAFAYETTE, Colo. -- The Lafayette teacher put on administrative leave after police say she forced a student to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance has been charged with child abuse and assault.

Karen Smith, a physical education teacher at Angevine Middle School, was put on administrative leave Feb. 1. Almost two weeks later she's now charged.​

“She like yanked him or like pulled him up,” a student who was in the class when it happened said.

Police said Smith lifted the student by his jacket and removed him from the room.

Smith's husband answered the door at the couple's home and said they had no comment.

“I think it’s beyond the Pledge," parent Manny Perez said.

“That’s not cool. You shouldn’t put your hands on a kid,” parent Dave Martinez said. “It’s a free country, right, you should be able to do what you want, stand or sit.”

Smith was processed and released on a summons. Her first court date is Feb. 28. No permanent decisions on Smith's role at the school will be made until the court process is finished.