A Florida girl may have to repeat second grade after she was suspended more than 30 times for refusing to comply with the district’s face mask mandate.
The recalcitrant student in Palm Beach County was described by her mom, Bailey Lashells, as a typical child who enjoys arts and crafts, drawing and making jewelry, the Tampa Free Press reported.
But, Lashells told the paper, her determined daughter Fiona “changed her priorities a bit” amid the pandemic.
She said her daughter “has been steadfast” in her decision to “do everything she can for every child going through these lawless mandates.”
The 7-year-old student has since been slapped with a total of 36 days of suspensions and multiple in-school disciplinary actions.
Fiona’s served her first punishment on Aug. 31, when she was forced to eat lunch alone in an office hallway, according to the Free Press.
Lashells said her strong-willed daughter could now be held back.
“Unfortunately, the blows just seem to not stop as she was recently told after completing every assignment her teacher will provide that she is not only failing second grade but that there is no way she could catch up, per her teacher,” the mother continued.
The girl said in a since-removed YouTube video that she refused to wear a mask because it “could make you sick,” Fox News reported.
In July, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order that made it optional to wear face masks in public schools.
But in Palm Beach County, one of the most heavily Democratic strongholds in the Sunshine State, board member Alexandria Ayala has been a vocal proponent for mandatory masking, the Free Press said.
DeSantis’ press secretary Christina Pushaw told Fox News in a statement that “there is no scientific basis for forced-masking kids in school, and the decision should always be up to the parents.
“While parents have a crucial role in kids’ education, school board members, educators, and school staff should likewise be dedicated to helping students succeed,” she said.
“Anyone who denies a young child the right to go to school, for non-compliance with an illegal mask mandate, does not care about education and certainly does not care about kids,” Pushaw added.
School district officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment by Fox News.