Teacher Allegedly Assaulted Student for Not Standing During Pledge of Allegiance

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The crowd stands during the Pledge of Allegiance during Donald Trump’s campaign rally at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington, West Virginia, on August 3, 2017. A middle school teacher in Colorado was put on paid leave for allegedly assaulting a student who refused to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance. Photo by Justin Merriman/Getty Images

A middle school teacher in Colorado was put on paid leave for allegedly assaulting a student who refused to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance.

Lafayette Police Commander Brian Rosipajla confirmed to the Denver Post that officers responded to the Boulder Valley School around noon on Thursday to investigate a report that a teacher assaulted a student for refusing to stand for the pledge.

The Boulder Valley School District allows students to sit or stand during the pledge, according to Boulder Valley School District spokesman Randy Barber. Barber told the Denver Post that he could neither confirm nor deny that the incident happened. He told the paper that he couldn't comment any further because the investigation concerns a "personnel matter."

The investigation is ongoing, and the teacher, 20-year veteran of the school district Karen Smith, was put on paid administrative leave. The school district sent out a letter from the principal and two assistant principals informing parents that a substitute teacher would be filling in for Smith's physical education courses while the incident was being investigated, according to the Times Call.

"We are dedicated, as always, to supporting our students and ensuring that we have qualified educators working with them during their physical education time," the letter stated.

There has been a national debate over standing for the Pledge of Allegiance, which began when then–San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the anthem in 2016 as a protest against racial injustice. The debate swiftly took to the president's desk, with Donald Trump frequently calling on the NFL to create a rule that would require players to stand. In one tweet he wrote: "Great solidarity for our National Anthem and for our Country. Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable. Bad ratings!"

Great solidarity for our National Anthem and for our Country. Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable. Bad ratings!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017

Since then, the president has tweeted at least half a dozen more times about kneeling during the national anthem.

At least 24 players kneeling this weekend at NFL stadiums that are now having a very hard time filling up. The American public is fed up with the disrespect the NFL is paying to our Country, our Flag and our National Anthem. Weak and out of control!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2017

The NFL is now thinking about a new idea - keeping teams in the Locker Room during the National Anthem next season. That’s almost as bad as kneeling! When will the highly paid Commissioner finally get tough and smart? This issue is killing your league!.....

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2017

Two dozen NFL players continue to kneel during the National Anthem, showing total disrespect to our Flag & Country. No leadership in NFL!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 23, 2017

I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2017

The NFL has all sorts of rules and regulations. The only way out for them is to set a rule that you can't kneel during our National Anthem!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2017

The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2017