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Colorado teacher accused of assaulting student who wouldn't stand for the Pledge of Allegiance

Last Updated Feb 3, 2018 3:55 PM EST

LAFAYETTE, Colo. -- A gym teacher in Colorado has been accused of assaulting a student who refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, authorities said. The Lafayette Police Department is investigating the incident, CBS Denver reports.

Karen Smith was placed on administrative leave Thursday after the alleged incident at the Angevine Middle School in Lafayette, Colorado. The city's police department said officers responded to the incident around noon Thursday.

The school's principal, Mike Medina, sent a letter home to parents Thursday evening notifying them there had been an "incident" involving Smith but said he could not elaborate.   

The Lafayette Police Department responded to an incident at the school around noon Thursday.

It's the practice of the school district to allow students to stand or sit during the pledge, district spokesperson Randy Barber told the Denver Post.

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Karen Smith is accused of assaulting a student who wouldn't stand for the Pledge Of Allegiance.

CBS Denver

A parent waiting to pick her child up at Angevine Friday afternoon told CBS Denver that her daughter knows Smith as a "strict" teacher but has never had an issue.

Two other parents who spoke to CBS Denver off camera said they believe the story has been "blown out of proportion" and expressed disappointment.

The school is working closely with the Lafayette Police Department on the investigation. For now, it has hired a substitute teacher to take Smith's place. No charges have been filed.