A fourth grade West Palm Beach teacher has been found guilty of trespassing at Westward Elementary, according to WPTV. Authorities say he disregarded district policy when he refused to wear a mask on campus and then refused to leave.
The teacher, Christopher Persaud, was convicted of the misdemeanor trespassing offense Tuesday.
School officials say he wasn’t arrested for not wearing a mask in October 2021, he was arrested for not leaving. Persaud argued, “I had a right to be there at my job.”
Persaud faces a penalty of $323 in court costs that he must pay within 30 days.
Though the mask mandate has been lifted, the principal of the school, Bobbie Brooks has reported that this particular teacher has refused to wear a mask before.
The principal has been quoted as saying that Persaud had been given “multiple verbal directives to wear a facial covering.”
Persaud made it clear that he wasn’t going to wear a face mask, and he wasn’t going to leave. He was standing up for the greater good.
“I decided to take a stand, not just for myself, but just for the American people,” Persaud said. “For us, but mostly for Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.”
Caught up with Chris Persaud after the verdict and adjudication! Persaud is a teacher in Palm Beach Schools who was arrested for refusing to wear a mask. pic.twitter.com/md7xSoVttk
— Chris Nelson (@ReOpenChris) April 26, 2022
The principal of the school contacted human resources for further instruction and was told that “if Persaud didn’t comply with the mask policy, he would be arrested for trespassing.”
After the teacher demanded to be “processed” and declined a notice to appear, the school resource officer handcuffed Persaud in the classroom and took him into custody.
“Rules are not laws. School board policies are not laws. And you cannot tell a man to leave who is legally there,” defense attorney Cory Strolla told WPTV.
Persaud is still listed as an employee of Westward Elementary school, but he is on voluntary leave.
He is also running for the Palm Beach County School Board, District 7 seat being vacated by Dr. Debra Robinson, who is not seeking reelection.
“We’re not taking the easy way out. We’re not going to cower down. We’re going through with this and we’re going to fight this all the way,” Persaud told WPTV.
850WFTL staff writer Aaron Kahan contributed to this story.