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COVID-19: Long Island HS Student Arrested After Protesting Remote Learning

William Floyd High School
William Floyd High School Photo Credit: File

A high school senior on Long Island has been arrested and suspended as he continues his protests against remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The William Floyd School District, located on the south shore of Long Island in Brookhaven, is implementing a hybrid learning model that has its 8,800 students attending class in person on specific days.

When the plan was implemented, the district announced that “students who refuse to adhere to their scheduled in-person days and/or flagrantly disregard directives to leave school grounds and cause a disruptive environment for other students, will face disciplinary actions.”

This week, 17-year-old Maverick Stow, a senior at the high school, protested the hybrid learning option by attending classes during his non-scheduled in-person instructional days, leading to the school to suspend him.

On Wednesday, Sept. 9, the district issued a release stating that Stow showed up to school again, despite his suspension and continued to display insubordinate behavior – even at one point squaring up to a district official and stating that the district would have to “forcibly remove” him from school grounds. 

The following day, on Thursday, Sept. 10, the district had enough, called the police, and Stow was arrested for criminal trespassing when he illegally entered school grounds.

“As a district, our primary focus aside from providing a high-quality education, is to provide a safe learning environment for students and staff,” school officials said. “Any attempt by a student who has been suspended or any other unauthorized person trying to enter school grounds is taken extremely seriously and will be met with the most severe consequences.”

District officials said that if Stow continues to attempt to access school grounds each day, they will close the high school, and transition approximately 3,000 students to complete remote learning.

According to the district, Stow “continues to display irresponsible and selfish behavior with today’s latest publicity stunt. He arrived wearing a neon green shirt – for high visibility – with a contingent of media just outside the fence line trying to capture him getting arrested as he entered the building.

Stow entered the building and was immediately arrested by Suffolk County police officers without incident and transported to the police station, school officials noted.

“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.

“Most of our in-person classes at the high school are at maximum capacity according to the square footage of each classroom,” officials said. “It is just not possible to have all of our students back under the current social distancing regulations. We will not condone or allow students to flagrantly break the law in our schools.”

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