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A 16-year-old Wyoming high school student was placed in handcuffs and ultimately arrested after her refusal to wear a mask led to a suspension and then a charge of trespassing.
Grace Smith, a Laramie High School junior, told “Fox & Friends First” that she has been suspended multiple times for breaking the school’s mask rule and for “continued willful disobedience.”
Smith, who had been serving two consecutive two-day suspensions for violating the school’s mask rule, showed up to school on a Tuesday and refused to leave, which resulted in a $500 citation and then she left the school.
On Thursday, things changed. After she refused to leave after receiving the $500 citation, police put her into handcuffs and took her to the city jail.
Meanwhile, in a video from the incident, an alert can be heard over a loudspeaker telling students “We are in a lockdown; please stay in your rooms.”
“I was surprised they followed through,” Grace said during an interview with the Laramie Boomerang. “They came up to me probably 20 minutes before I was arrested and said that if you continue to not leave, we will arrest you.”
When asked by the paper why she’s taking a stand in this situation, Grace said this is about her beliefs.
“It’s because I’m growing up in a country where I’m supposed to have my God-given rights to protect, and they’re being taken away,” she said. “Everybody has the freedom to wear a mask if they choose, but I believe everybody also has the right to not wear a mask if they choose.”
She says this is her choice and that her parents are supportive of her decision.
As for how this protest is being received inside the school by teachers and fellow students, Smith says she’s lost friends over it and teachers have been in on the bullying as well.
“The discrimination from the teachers is just absurd,” Grace said. “I had one teacher who tried to force a mask onto my face.”
According to Fox News, the school’s mask policy is set to expire Oct. 15, but school officials will meet Wednesday to decide whether it should be extended.