Wyoming Teenager Says She Was Arrested After Refusing to Wear Mask at School

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.
October 11, 2021 Updated: October 11, 2021

A high school student in Wyoming was arrested late last week after refusing to wear a mask at school.

Grace Smith, 16, a junior at Laramie High School, was taken into custody for trespassing on Oct. 7, according to video footage she recorded on her cellphone.

Smith was placed in handcuffs and escorted from the property.

The Albany County School District imposed mask requirements in early September.

Smith has been refusing to comply with the requirements, alleging they violate her constitutional rights.

Smith told the Laramie Boomerang that she was suspended the first time she didn’t comply. The second time, she was issued a $500 citation.

The third time, Smith refused to leave after getting a citation, leading to the trespassing arrest.

“They told me they were going to do that,” Smith said. “I was surprised they followed through. 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.”

A spokesman for the Laramie Police Department confirmed to The Epoch Times that a minor was arrested at the high school. He said the arrest was for trespassing and “didn’t have anything to do with a mask,” adding, “There’s no law regarding masks.”

The minor was released outside the school grounds.

A school district spokesperson told news outlets that the facility was placed under lockdown on Oct. 7 due to “a student disciplinary disturbance” and that the lockdown was lifted when the issue was resolved.

“All students are safe; the lockdown was issued in order to prevent further interruptions to academic learning. The school district does not comment on individual student discipline matters.”

Smith told state Sen. Anthony Bouchard, a Republican running for U.S. Congress, that she’s a straight-A student who had never broken the law.

“I would never choose to do anything wrong, and I never saw myself sitting in the back of a cop car, handcuffed,” Smith said.

She said the mask mandate is stressing her out and she’s been left feeling “unwanted by the school system.”

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

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.