Lafayette (Colorado) Police Commander Brian Rosipajia confirms that investigators are looking into allegations that Physical Education Teacher Karen Smith assaulted a student who refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance Thursday morning.
Smith is a 20-year veteran of the school district, according to Boulder Valley School District spokesman Randy Barber. She works at Angevine Middle School in Lafayette, but Barber says she is currently on paid administrative leave pending the investigation.
Angevine Middle School Principal Mike Medina sent a letter home to parents regarding the incident.
Part of the letter states, "While I cannot share much information, following an incident today at school, Ms. Smith was placed on paid administrative leave. We are working closely with our partners at the Lafayette Police Department. We believe in due process and therefore ask that everyone respect Ms. Smith’s privacy at this time."
Barber says district policy allows for students to stand or sit for the Pledge of Allegiance.
"The practice is not to punish students or staff members who choose not to participate," Barber said.
Rosipajia says the investigation is still in the early stages.