pledge of allegiance
A 20-year veteran teacher was accused of assaulting a middle school student who refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, Feb.3, 2018. In this photo, newly-sworn in U.S. citizens recite the Pledge of Allegiance during a naturalization ceremony in honor of Martha Washington's 286th birthday at George Washington's Mount Vernon in Virginia, June 2, 2017. Getty Images

A gym teacher at a middle school in Colorado was accused of assaulting a student who refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, reports said Saturday.

Middle school teacher, a 20-year veteran Karen Smith, who until recently taught physical education at Angevine Middle School, about 20 miles north of Denver, Colorado, was placed on paid administrative leave after the alleged incident, school district officials confirmed.

Local police confirmed to CBS News in Denver that they were investigating reports that Smith allegedly assaulted an unidentified student for refusing to stand for the pledge. Officers were called to the school at around Thursday noon.

No charges were filed against the teacher and details of the alleged incident were not revealed as of Saturday.

“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,” Principal Mike Medina said in a letter sent home to parents of students studying at the school Thursday night.

“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,” the letter read.

“We believe in due process and therefore ask that everyone respect Ms. Smith’s privacy at this time,” the letter added.

"Smith is a 20-year veteran working at the school. Her reputation states her as a “strict” teacher, but that quality had never before been an issue," one parent of a child at the middle school told CBS News.

A school spokesman told the Denver Post that the school district’s policy is to allow students the choice of sitting or standing for the Pledge of Allegiance.

"The practice is not to punish students or staff members who choose not to participate," Boulder Valley School District spokesman Randy Barber said.

A Colorado gym teacher was accused of assaulting a student because the kid refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, Feb. 3, 2018. Pixabay

"The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, 'I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,' should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute," the pledge reads, according to the U.S. Constitution.

A 1943 Supreme Court case — West Virginia State Board of Education vs. Barnette — protected students from being forced to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and salute the flag in public schools. In the case, the apex court ruled that forcefully making students stand or recite the pledge constituted compelled speech and also violated the First Amendment.

Thus, according to the specific guidelines outlined in the Barnette case, it has been made clear that schools are not permitted to force students to recite or stand for the Pledge of Allegiance (including standing silently while others recite the pledge).