Coach suspended for pushing gas-passing student
Posted: April 16, 2014 - 4:14am

ALEXANDRIA, Pa. (AP) — A high school football coach facing criminal charges for allegedly shoving a student who passed gas in the coach's classroom is receiving support from coaches in neighboring districts and others.

Forty-five-year-old Michael Smith remains suspended and cited for harassment and criminal mischief for the March 25 incident at Juniata Valley High School.

That's where state police say Smith pushed a student into a wall, breaking a thermostat.

Superintendent David Christopher says, "It's a really difficult situation here. You've got a longtime teacher who's accused of something pretty serious."

Smith isn't commenting, but more than 300 people have signed an online petition supporting Smith.

They include Bellwood-Antis softball coach Jim Payne who wrote, "I guess the elephant in the room is, 'What would you do if a kid (passed gas) in your face?'"

The Latest

Front PageHospital inherits cabin, land

Nephew lost fight over Benton-area property to Allentown-area facility

Front PageLittle Caesars pizza on way

Owner expects pies to be ‘hot and ready’ at Bloom-area shop this fall

Front PageBlaze in silo still smolders

Benton-area fire could simmer for months, too risky to douse, chief says

Front PageDeveloper promises parking fix for penny

Man has ideas to add 100 spaces in 30 days

Front PageChief: Lawn mower suspect in Millville-area barn blaze

Firefighters suspect it may have been a lawn mower that sparked a...