04 - 17 - 2014 Support is growing for suspended Juniata Valley HS coach
[CDT] - The 45-y/o Juniata Valley High School football coach, who is facing criminal charges for allegedly shoving a student who passed gas in the classroom, is receiving support from coaches in neighboring districts and others. Michael Smith remains suspended and cited for harassment and criminal mischief for the March 25 incident where, state police say, he pushed a student into a wall, breaking a thermostat. Superintendent David Christopher told the CDT that, "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.