8-year-old with 38 mask-related suspensions gets roaring applause after confronting school board

By Jack Davis, The Western Journal

An eight-year-old Florida girl is making the system bend to her will as she defies the Palm Beach County School Board’s mask mandate.

So far, she has been suspended 38 times for failing to do as the adults tell her.

“I was really shocked by it,” said Bailey Lashell, Fiona’s mother, according to WTEN-TV. “I couldn’t believe it was all over not complying with the mask mandate.”

Fiona made a brief appearance at a board meeting to tell her school board exactly what she thinks of their rules.

“Just because I get suspended for not wearing a mask isn’t going to change my mind. You can keep suspending me. I still have the right not to wear a mask,” she said.

“It is not fair that I’m getting punished because you guys, the school board, are not following the law,” she said. “I’m still going to stand up for what I believe in.”

“I hope you all go to jail for doing this to me,” Fiona said.

She added one final thought: “Your rules suck.”

Her mother is chronicling her daughter’s disobedience on a website named StandupforFiona, explaining how her child has been threatened with flunking second grade.


“Since August 31st and her first punishment of a referral and silent lunch in an office hallway, Fiona has been steadfast in her unwavering decision to not back down to tyranny and lunacy, vowing to do everything she can for every child going thru these lawless mandates,” she wrote.

“Fiona is a strong-minded and fearless young girl who was ready to conquer the world at 7. 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 2nd grade but that there is no way she could catch up per her teacher,” she continued.

Neither mom nor daughter seems the type to take these things lying down.

“Thankfully we realized this was as tyrannical a move from her teacher and after asking for nearly 3 weeks we received Fiona’s progression in an application known as success maker. Not only is Fiona at or meeting grade-level requirements in Math, but rather doing math work at a 4th-grade level with almost 100% mastery in most of the items calculated,” she wrote, noting that she put all the documents on the site for all to see.

“Fiona has changed her priorities a bit and is on a mission to take back, not only her rights but every American child’s constitutional rights from the tyrant school board,” her mom explained on the site.

Although in July, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order that made mask-wearing optional, in Palm Beach County masks have been mandated, although the mandate ends Monday.

“You wear it for a long time, and you breathe in all those germs,” Fiona said, according to WTEN. “You set it down at lunch and put it back on your face and breathed that all in all day long.”

“I’m doing it for other kids,” said Fiona. “Not just myself.”

Her mother said compelling children is wrong.

“We have no problem with somebody wearing a mask,” Lashell said. “We just feel that the kids in this situation — or I guess the parents — should have been given that choice.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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