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Teacher Facing Charges for Forcing Pupil to Stand for Pledge of Allegiance

A middle school teacher was charged with child abuse after she reportedly forced one of her students to leave the class when he chose not to participate in standing for the Pledge of Allegiance.

On February 1 a physical education teacher who is employed at the Angevine Middle School in Colorado was accused of becoming involved in an altercation with one of her students.

59-year-old Karen Smith, a teacher for the Boulder Valley School District for the past 20 years, allegedly did not approve when one of her students chose to sit instead of standing as is traditional during the Pledge of Allegiance. Smith reportedly grasped the child by his jacket and pulled him to his feet before ushering him out of the room.

The school district spokesperson stated that their policy allows students to decide for themselves whether or not to partake in standing for the practice. Additionally, in 1943 the case of the West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette Supreme Court granted individuals the personal choice of participating on the grounds that they “think the action of the local authorities in compelling the flag salute and pledge transcends constitutional limitations on their power and invades the sphere of intellect and spirit which it is the purpose of the First Amendment to our Constitution to reserve from all official control.”

On Tuesday, following a 12-day investigation, the Boulder County District Attorney formally charged Smith with child abuse and third-degree assault. After being processed and served a summons for the charges she was released from the Lafayette Police Department.

Smith has been placed on paid administrative leave while law enforcement and the school district perform investigations into the allegations.

If you or someone you love is suspected of child abuse, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.

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