16-Year-Old Wyoming Student Arrested Over Refusal to Wear a Mask At School
Depending on where you live, your local schools may or may not have a mask mandate. Some schools let parents and students decide if they want to wear a face mask on school property. Other school districts require anyone on campus to wear a face mask.
On September 8, 2021, a school district in Wyoming approved a face mask mandate. All students at school or on a school bus are now required to wear a face mask.
This new rule didn’t sit well with 16-year-old Laramie High School junior Grace Smith. The self-described “straight A student,” had never broken the law, but she also wasn’t going to comply with the school’s mask mandate.
In an interview shared online, Smith explained, “I was arrested for not wearing a mask. I’ve had 6 days issued of out of school suspension. That comes from three separate 2-day suspensions. I have $1000 worth of trespassing fines from our police department.”
According to the police, Smith technically wasn’t arrested for not wearing a mask. She was arrested for trespassing after she refused to comply with the school policy and then refused to leave school property.
Smith feels “angry” and “unwanted by the school system.” She also feels, “stressed out” when she says she “should be playing sports and having fun.” Besides leaving school in handcuffs, Smith and her family have also been insulted by her classmates and teachers.
When Smith told police that she refused to leave the school, the police put the entire school into lockdown for approximately 90 minutes because she was “a safety concern.”
Smith’s dad, Andy Smith, explained that he has it on record that the police previously said they would not arrest his daughter. Andy Smith talked to the police lieutenant to remind him of this, but the police claimed they had no choice but to arrest her for trespassing since she wouldn’t leave school property.
Grace Smith feels that she didn’t do anything wrong and shouldn’t have been arrested. She said, “I never saw myself sitting in the back of a cop car handcuffed for doing nothing wrong.”
Do you think it was necessary for police to lockdown a high school and arrest a 16-year-old student for not wearing a face mask? Do you think Grace Smith should wear a face mask since it’s school policy, or do you think she should keep refusing to wear a face mask in hopes that the policy will change?