Skip to main content

Lafayette, CO — Physical education teacher Karen Smith of Angevine Middle School is on paid administrative leave after she was accused of assaulting a student who refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

School administrators released a statement shortly after saying that a substitute teacher would be replacing Smith while the attack was being investigated.

"I am reaching out to you tonight to let you know that we will have a substitute teacher working with some of our PE classes for the time being. 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. We are dedicated, as always, to supporting our students and ensuring that we have qualified educators working with them during their physical education time. Thank you for your patience and support. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns,"the statement said.

So far the Lafayette Police department or the Angevine Middle School have not revealed any details describing the nature of the assault, or the condition of the student.
A school spokesman told The Denver Post, that the policy is to allow students to sit or stand during the pledge. This is a policy that is essentially required by law, considering a ruling from The Supreme Court which stated that:

"The action of a State in making it compulsory for children in the public schools to salute the flag and pledge allegiance -- by extending the right arm, palm upward, and declaring, "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands; one Nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all" -- violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments. So held as applied to children who were expelled for refusal to comply, and whose absence thereby became "unlawful," subjecting them and their parents or guardians to punishment."

Scroll to Continue

Recommended for You

Throughout the 19th century, oligarchs in America worked hard to create public institutions that would indoctrinate young children into being more patriotic and subservient to the government.

These efforts resulted in the public education system, based on the "Prussian education model," which was developed in pre-Nazi Germany and then exported throughout the western world.

Even in America, this system has been largely unchanged since the 19th century and embodies many of the same archaic goals and ideas—the Pledge of Allegiance being one of them.

In 1891, Baptist minister and socialist Francis Bellamy wrote the first draft of the Pledge of Alliegence for a nationalist propaganda magazine called "Youth’s Companion." By the next year, the Pledge was widely adopted in government schools across the US, and was introduced in ceremonies to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's invasion of America, and has remained a staple of formal American culture ever since.

Many who are critical of the pledge have speculated that Bellamy's campaign of nationalism was brought on by the massive fear of immigrants that the ruling class had at the time. It is said that the elites of the day wanted to create an American identity and culture that excluded everyone who wasn't born in the USA.