Lafayette teacher takes plea deal for assaulting boy over Pledge of Allegiance

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LAFAYETTE, Colo. — A Lafayette middle school teacher who allegedly assaulted a student who refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance has taken a plea deal and has retired from teaching.

Karen Smith, 60, who taught physical education at Angevine Middle School, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of child abuse resulting in injury, according to court records.

She was sentenced to an 18-month deferred sentence. The guilty plea would be withdrawn if she meets the terms of the sentence and avoids another criminal case during that time.

A third-degree assault charge was dropped as part of the plea deal.

When the male student refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance on Feb. 1, Smith lifted him to his feet by his jacket and removed him from the classroom, officials said.

Smith had pleaded not guilty and was due to go to trial in October.

Boulder Valley School District spokesman Randy Barber said Smith retired on Aug. 20.

She had worked at the district for 20 years and was placed on paid administrative leave on Feb. 1 while the case was pending.

Smith cannot teach during the 18-month deferred sentence. If the Colorado Department of Education moves to revoke her teaching license, the court order prevents her from contesting the move.

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