LAFAYETTE, Colo. (CBS4) – A Boulder Valley School District teacher now faces child abuse and assault charges for allegedly forcing a child to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Karen Smith, a physical education teacher at Angevine Middle School in Lafayette, was placed on leave earlier this month.

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Karen Smith (credit: Lafayette Police)

Police say on Feb. 1, Smith grabbed a boy by his jacket, lifting him to his feet, and took him out of class.

A parent waiting to pick her child up at Angevine recently told CBS4 that her daughter knows Smith as a “strict” teacher but has never had an issue.

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Angevine Middle School (credit: CBS)

The school district released a new letter which was sent to parents on Tuesday:

Boulder Valley School District Statement

Today we learned that the Boulder County District Attorney’s office has formally charged Angevine Middle School Physical Education Teacher Karen Smith. Ms. Smith has served Boulder Valley School District for 20 years and is currently on paid administrative leave.

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We are cooperating with the District Attorney’s Office and respect their decision on this matter. We are unable to comment further because it remains a personnel matter that the school district is actively investigating.