jenna miller kicked out school mask

Jenna Miller leaving her school after refusing to wear a mask
An 11-year-old girl is speaking out after being kicked out of her school for refusing to wear a face mask in her hot classroom.

"Today was a hard emotional day for me. Today I stood my ground and I was very adamant to standing up for what's right and making it known it's not a safe environment no longer being in a hot classroom with no Air conditioning with temperatures yesterday of 96° and today was a high of 86° masked and slaved to concentrate and do work at our desks with sweat pouring off of me," Jenna Miller said in an Instagram post, accompanied by a picture of her leaving her Saugerties, New York, school.

The 11-year-old student said that her hobby of riding BMX races in the hot summer makes it easier for her to deal with heat, but sitting in her hot classroom all day with a mask and no air conditioning became too much for her to take.

"I love the heat I know what it's like to be in the heat I race Bmx year around in full uniform the only difference is I come off the track soaking wet I'm able to drink freely, I'm able to breathe in the fresh air without a muzzle to my face this is inhumane," Miller said.

Miller likened the mask requirement to leaving a dog in a hot car, while pointing out that school leadership has opportunities to unmask and enjoy air conditioning throughout the day.
"Today's the day I said to myself I don't [know] if I'm going to make it through the entire school day because of the Constant pressure from the teachers yelling at me to muzzle myself. Today was the day I said no. I was kicked out of school because I was not being compliant with mask orders in a poorly ventilated classroom. This is the true definition of child abuse in my eyes. You don't leave a dog in the car... you certainly don't control us kids being in a hot classroom with a mask over our face."

"All of the administrators get to sit and bark orders from their air-conditioned offices in business suits on not masked. I don't know what statement they are trying to make for us. Today was the day I said no more. I hope this picture goes viral and to just know your in control of your body The board of education is not."
Miller's stand against masking also earned her an interview with ABC News 10 about the situation.

"Well, at first when we started it was really hard concentrating with the mask on for, like, six hours, but when it was nice and cold out, I think it was a little easier. Now that it's getting so hot, I'm really against it. It's really hard," Miller told the outlet. "Two hours into, like, our class, it was just so hot in there that I felt like I couldn't breathe and I was gonna pass out."

The student's mother, Kelly Miller, said that she was proud of her daughter for being outspoken about the issue.

"I'm so proud of her for stepping up and protecting herself, enough to where she chose yesterday she knew that there was something wrong," the mother said. "You don't put a dog in a car, you don't put kids in a hot classroom."
jenna miller schools mask protest
© jennabmx/Instagram/Screenshot
Jenna Miller and family take part in an anti-mask rally
Responding to the story, Rural Schools Association Executive Director David Little acknowledged that a lack of air conditioning is a common problem in New York's rural schools.

"Many schools are unprepared in hot weather, so it's always been easier to shut down by the time it gets really hot," Little said. "It would cost a fortune to put air conditioners into schools that don't already have it. If you happen to live in an area that doesn't have independent financial resources, you're probably not going to be going out anytime soon to get an air conditioning system, no matter how hot it gets."

"Mask or no mask — if it's 95 degrees outside and you don't have air-conditioning in the school, you're just not gonna learn a lot, right? It's just too uncomfortable to be there," he added.

Saugerties Central School District Superintendent Kirk Reinhardt said that the buildings within his school district do have some areas that contain air conditioning, a luxury the district has tried to make use of.

"We have some pockets within our facilities where there is air-conditioning, and we are utilizing the spaces," Reinhardt said.

When it comes to mandating masks, Reinhardt pointed to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state guidance that have handcuffed the district's ability to implement its own policy.

"I met with the principals this morning. We do have spaces within our building where the temperatures are different based on what floor they're on. They are giving teachers the opportunity to move their classrooms, once again making sure we're staying within CDC guidelines for COVID," Reinhardt said.

"Based on the governor's guidance, they are no longer required to wear masks when they're outside, so we put out a note to all our staff in fact on Sunday, reminding them the use of alternative spaces within the buildings, within the grounds, to increase the mask breaks, when needed increase opportunities for hydration," he added.