The Senate voted down Senate File 1010, the Grace Smith Freedom Act, on Tuesday by an 18-11 vote. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Bo Biteman (R-Ranchester) and Rep. Ocean Andrew (R-Laramie), was named after a 16-year-old Laramie High School junior who was arrested on Oct. 7 for refusing to wear a face mask.
The bill would have required “county and state health officers to grant waivers to immunization requirements for K 12 students upon request; requiring county and state health officers to grant mask mandate waivers for K 12 students upon request.”
Those voting against medical freedom included 16 Republicans: Sen. Jim Anderson (R-Casper), Sen. Fred Baldwin (R-Kemmerer), Sen. Cale Case (R-Lander), Sen. Ed Cooper (R-Ten Sleep), Sen. Dan Dockstader (R-Afton), Sen. Ogden Driskill (R-Devils Tower), Sen. Dan Furphy (R-Laramie), Sen. Larry Hicks (R-Baggs), Sen. Dave Kinskey (R-Sheridan), Sen. John Kolb (R-Rock Springs), Sen. R. J. Kost (R-Powell), Sen. Bill Landen (R-Casper), Sen. Tara Nethercott (R-Cheyenne), Sen. Drew Perkins (R-Casper), Sen. Charles Scott (R-Casper) and Sen. Jeff Wasserburger (R-Gillette). The Senate’s only Democrats, Sen. Mike Gierau (D-Jackson) and Sen. Chris Rothfuss (D-Laramie), also voted against the bill.
Joining Biteman in voting for medical freedom included Sen. Brian Boner (R-Douglas), Sen. Anthony Bouchard (R-Cheyenne), Sen. Affie Ellis (R-Cheyenne), Sen. Tim French (R-Powell), Sen. Lynn Hutchings (R-Cheyenne), Sen. Tom James (R-Rock Springs), Senator Troy McKeown (R-Gillette), Senator Tim Salazar (R-Riverton), Sen. Wendy Schuler (R-Evanston) and Sen. Cheri Steinmetz (R-Lingle).
Grace Smith spoke to a crowd of supporters of the bill at the State Capitol on Oct. 26 before the bill was voted down later that day. She vowed to keep fighting for liberty.
“I’m so grateful to be a part of this fight with all of you, and especially to all you kids out there please, please keep fighting,” Smith said. “This is about you. And parents, this is about you too. It’s not about me.”
Smith added: “It’s just absolutely amazing to see all these people here, and it’s really, really encouraging to me and my family to see so many people supporting us through all of this. I know it’s a scary fight and so I just encourage all of you to just continue to fight for all the liberties of American citizens.”
Beyond being arrested, Smith received $1,000 in fines by the Laramie Police Department for politely refusing to obey the unlawful dictates of the school administration regarding masks. She was handcuffed on school grounds while the police also put the school on lockdown.
Even after this act of tyranny, the Board of Education in Albany County School District 1 doubled down to keep the mask mandate in place at an Oct. 13 board meeting. Smith gave public comments at that meeting announcing she was withdrawing from the school district.
A fundraising account was created on Give Send Go for Grace. The Smith family provided an update on the site stating Grace has started a homeschool program and that the City of Laramie has dismissed one of the two fines she received and they expect the second to also be dismissed.
“We are trusting that God is in control and His will be done as it pertains to the criminal charges against Grace,” the update stated. “On the larger civil law case, we have joined two different fights. We are part of a larger class action federal case that hopes to restore liberty back to the people. This will be filled in a federal court in the 10th district and is the case we hope will have the desired outcome for not only Wyoming but other cases like it in the country. Grace is also going to be part of a more local state case that will not only involve her but others from our school district. This case will be more tied to her situation specifically and involve other students from her school district.”