16-Year-Old Arrested For Trying to Go to School Without A Mask

Straight-A student faces fines and jail-time for refusing to cover her face at school, says she has a right to an education AND oxygen (simultaneously)

16-year-old Grace Smith was arrested Thursday for attempting to go class for a third time without a mask.

The first time she tried, she was suspended. The second time, she received a $500 fine. The third time, she got arrested (and another $500 fine).

And her entire high school was put on lockdown (locked in their classrooms) for an hour and a half, while the police tried to convince her to leave campus.

“This entire building is now in lockdown, so you are now restricting the movement of over 1000 students,” a police officer tells Smith about 10 minutes into a video she made of the arrest on her phone.

At the second suspension, Smith’s lawyer attempted to inform the police that there was no state statute that gave them the authority to enforce a mask mandate. The police countered by arguing that they were enforcing a suspension/trespassing laws.

Since her arrest, Smith has raised $60,000 on GiveSendGo.com for her legal battle, in hopes she can someday return to school, while simultaneously being allowed to breath normal amounts of oxygen.

For a straight-A student, who takes Advanced Placement classes, not attending school is a sacrifice, Smith told her local newspaper. She is also giving up her lead role in the school play and her spot on the dance team.

In a video she made after being released from jail later that afternoon, Smith said she had “a right to education” and said she was angry and stressed out that she had “to fight this battle as a 16-year-old.”

“Right now I should be playing sports and having fun and instead I’m fighting for the rights that were supposed to be won hundreds of years ago,” she added.

Before her arrest, Smith organized a walkout of 70-80 students, who left class to protest the mask mandate in front of the school. CREDIT: Greg Johnson, Laramie Boomerang