A 16-year-old high school girl was arrested and her entire school locked down, all over her refusal to wear a face mask. Her arrest caused outrage on the right, and conservatives have started chipping in to her legal defense.
Video footage captured on Thursday showed 16-year-old Grace Smith met with school officials and a police officer when she turned up at the doors of Laramie High School in Wyoming. Smith had already served two consecutive suspensions for refusing to wear a face mask in class – per school board requirements – and again attempted to enter the building unmasked.
She was given a $500 citation by a police officer, then was handcuffed and arrested when she refused to voluntarily leave the school. As Smith refused to leave, a loudspeaker announcement informed students that “we are in a lockdown, please stay in your rooms.”
Meet Grace. She's a 16 year old girl who's showing more courage than most men right now. She's refusing to comply with the mask mandate her Wyoming school board is trying to force. She was fined and arrested. Here's her arrest. She's a hero.— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) October 9, 2021
Support her: https://t.co/reUHkcHjHx pic.twitter.com/fs0Xr5mz03
The arresting officer could be heard telling the teenager that the lockdown is her fault, but the teen refused to leave the building until she was led away in cuffs.
Andy Smith, Grace’s father, told local news outlets that the family has retained an attorney to fight the citations. Later in the video of his daughter’s arrest, Smith tells school district Superintendent Jubal Yennie that the suspensions “are just absurd to me,” and “despicable.”
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In the meantime, Grace will be expelled if her suspensions keep adding up, but the teen has no intention of backing down.
“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 told the Laramie Boomerang. “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.”
Smith’s stand against her school’s mask mandate has drawn the support of conservatives across the country.
There are at least three levels of crazy here:— Ezra Levant 🍁 (@ezralevant) October 9, 2021
1. She was suspended from school for not wearing a mask.
2. She was arrested and jailed for it.
3. THEY PUT THE ENTIRE SCHOOL ON LOCKDOWN.
And all this in the reddest red state. https://t.co/rwJ7xRM341
Do you have any concept how amazing this young girl is and how scary this must be for her. She embodies the heart and spirit of a true American! God bless her and others like her. #AmericanHero https://t.co/SftHeprdws— Jerrod Sessler 🇺🇸 Republican for Congress - WA (@Sessler) October 9, 2021
The cop knows this is BS— Jim Hanson (@JimHansonDC) October 9, 2021
He asks her “Do you have any guns, knives or bazookas?”
Do we want to live in a country like this?
Are we going to be brace like Grace & fix it https://t.co/ciGTiAHxPq
The girl’s father has set up a crowdfunding appeal and, as of Saturday, has raised nearly $9,000 to cover his daughter’s legal fees. Her school district is set to review its mask policy next week, but has previously stated that it will only be relaxed once 70% of people in Albany County, where the school is located, are vaccinated. At present, the vaccination rate stands at 49%, according to the Laramie Boomerang.
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