An Illinois teenager was arrested this week after police say the student brandished a knife during an altercation with another student over the wearing of face masks in school.
The incident happened the same day that masks became optional in many school districts across Illinois.
Last Friday, an Illinois judge ruled that Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) overstepped his authority by issuing broad COVID restrictions for public schools. The judge's ruling technically applied to only the defendants of the lawsuit on which the judge ruled. But because of the nature of the ruling, many school districts across Illinois changed their policies.
What are the details?
A teenager at Fremd High School in Palatine, a northern suburb of Chicago, was arrested on Monday after allegedly pulling a knife on a classmate who was not wearing a face mask.
The classroom teacher reportedly acted quickly to subdue the threat. No students were injured in the incident, and charges are pending against the student who pulled the knife, WBBM-TV reported.
The victim spoke out Wednesday, explaining on "Fox & Friends" that she believes she was targeted because she was the only person in her section of the class not wearing a face mask.
"As I was sitting in my seat like normal, a student angrily said, 'No one, better get near me' and I look up at him confused, and he goes, 'You, especially you,' and he points his finger at me, and then I look around for a second," the student, who was identified as "Grace," explained. "By the time I look around, he pulls a knife out and lunges it at me and I start freaking out, and I'm shaking, and I'm screaming."
Unfortunately, Grace said that she predicted tension would reverberate through the halls of her school when masks became optional. But she never believed she would become a target.
"I knew there was going to be tension. It was foreshadowed," Grace said. "I 100% knew there was going to be tension. I had no clue it was going to go to this level, but definitely the whole school was aware that there was tension coming in on Monday."
What did the school say?
Principal Mark Langer sent parents a letter addressing the incident, but did not divulge many details beyond the fact that it was "related to the wearing of masks in school buildings."
"The classroom teacher acted swiftly to prevent the situation from escalating and immediately notified school administrators to resolve the situation. We have communicated with the parents of students who were in the classroom at the time of the incident. Counselors were made aware of the situation and were available to talk to any students needing support," the letter said, in part, WBBM reported.
Meanwhile, a representative for the school district, Erin Holmes, told the Daily Herald, "We are reiterating the importance of mutual respect as we continue to navigate changing directives."