A New York high school student was suspended this week after he attended classes in-person on his designated remote learning day, with the student later arrested after he continued to show up to school in protest despite being told to stay home.
Officials at William Floyd High School in Mastic Beach, N.Y., on Long Island suspended Maverick Stow, 17, for five days after he showed up for in-person classes on Tuesday. Stow told school officials that he believed he should attend school in-person for five days a week, according to a statement from the school district.
When Stow returned to the school on Wednesday and Thursday despite his suspension, the Suffolk County Police Department became involved and arrested him for criminal trespassing for unlawfully entering school grounds.
The police department confirmed to The Hill that police arrested a 17-year-old student on Thursday for trespassing after he was suspended. A spokesperson said he will be scheduled for an arraignment.
“As a result, if Mr. Stow continues to try to access school grounds each day that we are open, we will close the high school – and its approximately 3,000 students – to all in-person learning and it will be all virtual for the foreseeable future,” the school district said in a statement.
The district labeled Stow’s actions as “irresponsible and selfish behavior” and as a “publicity stunt.” In a statement, the district said it agrees with Stow's view that in-person instruction should occur five days a week, but they are required to follow state social distancing regulations.
“We are still in the midst of a pandemic and will abide by the regulations set in place by our government and health officials designed to keep our students and staff safe,” the district said. “As we have said, Mr. Stow’s rights as a student do not surpass the rights of any of our other 8,799 students; they should not have to come to school to witness this circus atmosphere each day.”
“We will not condone or allow students to flagrantly break the law in our schools,” the statement added.
On Tuesday, Stow told ABC7 New York he arrived at school, his temperature was taken and he went to his first-period class, when the teacher contacted administration because his name was not on the roster. He said officials asked him to leave but he declined, saying “I think I need to go to class.”
After he finished his classes that day, school officials told him he was suspended for five days, which Maverick called “out of line.” He then returned to school property the next two days before being arrested Thursday.
Stow’s parents have expressed support for their son, with his father Richard Stow telling ABC7 that their son told them his plans in advance.