Saugerties fifth grader says she was forced out of class, told to stay home after refusing to wear mask in heat

Jenna Miller, 11, was allegedly forced out of class and told to stay home after refusing to wear a mask in school during last week's hot weather.

News 12 Staff

Jun 15, 2021, 9:32 PM

Updated 1,093 days ago

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Mask mandates remain in place in New York schools, but one fifth grade student in Saugerties is standing up for what she believes in.
Jenna Miller, 11, was allegedly forced out of class and told to stay home after refusing to wear a mask in school during last week's hot weather.
"About two hours into my class it got very, very hot. It was unbearable and I couldn't breathe," she says.
Miller says she felt like she was suffocating during 90-degree temperatures in class last Tuesday. The Saugerties student took off her mask in school and was allegedly told to go home when she refused to put it back on.
"There's no air conditioners, there's no fan. It's just hot and humid," she says.
The outspoken pre-teen is a nationally recognized BMX racer and straight-A student.
She posted about her experience at Cahill Elementary School on Instagram and got about 55,000 likes.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo lifted most COVID-19 restrictions for vaccinated New Yorkers on Tuesday, but mask rules remain in place at schools, per guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Critics protested the mask mandate in Goshen last week. Protesters plan to be back out on Wednesday.
Miller says she's not allowed back in class if she won't wear a mask.
"I have the right to choose freedom without obstruction over my face," she says.
News 12 reached out to the Saugerties Central School District, but has not heard back.
In response, the state Department of Education says it's following CDC guidelines, which recommends continued mask-wearing in schools.


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