PHONE CALL Kristjana Smith couldn’t believe what she was being told. Her daughter had called her to inform her that she had been pulled fr...

# Teacher won’t let girl wear mask to school, regrets it the next day # Teacher won’t let girl wear mask to school, regrets it the next day

# Teacher won’t let girl wear mask to school, regrets it the next day

# Teacher won’t let girl wear mask to school, regrets it the next day



Kristjana Smith couldn’t believe what she was being told. Her daughter had called her to inform her that she had been pulled from class because of what she was wearing.

She made her way straight to the principal’s office to discuss the matter calmly. But by the end of this meeting, she was fuming. She would make sure that the school would regret their decision.



Mikayla was in her freshman year at Midwest City High School, Oklahoma. Her school did have a strict dress code, but nowhere did they mention that face masks were not allowed.

Kristjana’s daughter had spent a few days in the hospital, and she wanted to make sure that something like this would never happen again.


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After a lot of searching Kristjana finally found a face mask for Mikayla to wear in public. She had good reason to wear this face mask.

Weeks earlier, Mikayla started complaining about a sore throat. At the time, they believed it was just a common cold, but they soon discovered that it was something a lot more serious than the common cold. Things soon went from bad to worse for Mikayla.


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After days of staying home and trying to recover in bed, Mikayla’s health didn’t seem to improve at all. She had gone through a course of antibiotics, but once she was done, her fever spiked drastically. It was at this point that she started struggling to breathe.

Kristjana rushed Mikayla to hospital as fast as she could. When the doctor examined Mikayla’s throat, he took a double-take. That’s when he told Kristjana something she never wanted to hear.



After the doctors had done some tests, he informed Kristjana that Mikayla’s illness wasn’t responding to the antibiotics and that a secondary infection had developed.

He booked her into the hospital and Kristjana was heartbroken to leave the hospital without her daughter, as she underwent surgery. But once Mikayla returned to school, all hell broke loose.


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Kristjana was concerned with the amount of work Mikayla had missed during her stay at the hospital. She didn’t want her daughter to fall behind in her studies.

Therefore, she sent Mikayla back to school after two weeks in recovery. When one of Mikayla’s teachers noticed the face mask on her face, she had an unprecedented reaction. Kristjana was livid.



It was the second last period of the day and Mikayla was sat in her French class. That was when her French teacher called her out in front of her entire class. She demanded Mikayla to go to the principal’s office. Once she made it to the office, the headmistress made the mistake of contacting her mother.

She gave Kristjana two options. Either she would have to fetch Mikayla immediately, or Mikayla had to remove her face mask. Kristjana was fuming. She couldn’t believe her ears.


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Mikayla had been through a lot the last few weeks, it was understandable that Kristjana was concerned for her daughter’s health. Her immune system was compromised and if she got sick again, she would end up in the hospital once again.

Kristjana was livid. She couldn’t understand why the school was doing this. “They threw a big fit about the mask and said that she couldn’t wear it because it was against school policy and against the dress code in the handbook,” Kristjana tried to explain. She knew they were in the wrong, but what could she do about this?


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Kristjana dropped what she was doing and immediately made her way to the school. She demanded to speak to the headmistress. She tried to stay calm as she explained why it was so necessary for  her daughter to wear the mask, it was to protect her.

She mismanaged to remain calm, but the headmistress wasn’t having it. The next day, however, Kristjana had a plan.


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Once Kristjana was certain that the headmistress wasn’t going to allow Mikayla to wear her mask, she went straight the media.

She called every news station she could think of and reporters soon swarmed around the school. She was speaking to a reporter that worked for News 4 when she explained, “She was wearing a medical mask to make sure that she doesn’t get any type of cold from somebody else in school that’s sick.”


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After Mikayla had had her tonsils removed due to a severe infection, her mom didn’t want to jeopardize the healing process by exposing her to other people carrying colds and flu. “…she has scabbing in the back of her throat,” she said angrily.

The school may have been regretting their reaction by now, but they remained firm in their decision. They released an official statement on the matter.



In the official statement, a spokesperson explained that Mikayla’s mask wouldn’t protect her from airborne diseases and that they had provided her with another mask: “A medical mask has three layers including a paper filter.

The district health coordinator provided a box of surgical grade medical masks to help protect the student from sickness.”



“A ‘rave’ mask is just cloth, similar to pulling a t-shirt over your mouth. It won’t protect from germs,” the spokesperson continued. “When a judgment is to be made regarding distractive items or dress code, a site principal will make the decision. Mid-Del Schools provided a medical mask for a student to wear while at school.”

So, why didn’t Mikayla wear the mask provided?


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Mikayla said that the mask that was provided by the school was “too tight” and left painful red welts on her skin. “I want to be able to wear my own mask. It’s comfortable and not painful,” she added.

But should she be allowed to break the dress code rules and wear it? She has already fallen behind in school due to her absence.


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“It’s stressful because I didn’t get to learn in my French class and my history class, because I was pulled out, so it was really stressful because now I’m going to have to catch up on more work,” said Mikayla.

But shouldn’t someone with a legitimate reason for wearing a protective mask be allowed to wear one? And do protective masks offer any protection from illnesses, anyway?


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According to David Heymann, former leader of WHO’s infectious disease unit, “a mask that is used to stop getting an infection is sometimes not very effective because people take it off to eat, many times they are worn improperly (and) if they get wet and somebody sneezes on that mask it could pass through.

So, there is really not a lot of evidence (to support wearing masks).” But what would others have to say?


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One commenter wrote: “I also wear [a mask] to my university here in Texas. I get so many stares and get asked if I’m sick or they plainly assume I’m contagious. I wear it to protect myself… from the flu and common cold.

My immune system is compromised so if I don’t wear it, I’ll easily get sick. I’d say to try to ignore them, people will always have something to say.”


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While most people were supportive of Kristjana, saying that Mikayla had a right to protect herself when her health was already compromised, some people who heard the story were incredulous, saying that if teenagers were allowed to wear what they wanted the education system would fall into chaos…

Why should Mikayla be allowed to break school rules?


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The school, despite all the media attention and anger from other parents, refused to budge. But Kristjiana wouldn’t budge on the matter, either. “It was way more of a distraction… the [mask] that they gave her… because it was white and it stood out like a sore thumb.”

The school and the angry mom were locked in a fierce stalemate.


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Kristjana was not backing down. She was adamant that the school had completely overreacted to her daughter’s protective mask and continues to raise awareness online. But she also knew that Mikayla couldn’t spend any more time away from school.

She has ordered another protective face mask online and hopes that the school will accept it.

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