A 16-year-old high school student sat in a cold vestibule for hours because her New York high school wouldn’t allow her in the building without a mask, even though the state’s mask mandate had been struck down as unconstitutional the day before. While the police department said the girl remained in the school’s vestibule for a kind of sit-in protest, the girl’s father claimed the school mistreated her by refusing to give her food, water, or access to a bathroom.

“She was getting treated definitely worse than a prisoner,” Vincent Igoe, the girl’s father, told Fox News Digital on Sunday. “Even inmates in jail get offered food and water.”


Igoe shared footage with Fox News of his encounters with his daughter, the school resource officer, his ex-wife, and an associate principal at South Colonie Central High School outside Albany, New York, on Tuesday, Jan. 25. He claimed that the videos showed that the school exiled his daughter from class unlawfully. 

(Vincent Igoe)

The South Colonie Central School District superintendent disputed Igoe’s version of events but declined to explain why he considered the father’s claims “false and misleading.” The Colonie Police Department said that the girl’s presence in the vestibule was a kind of protest, that the school had merely followed its policy, and that the school resource officer did nothing wrong.

Igoe recounted that on Monday, Jan. 24, he and his daughter were watching the news, and they heard that a New York Supreme Court judge struck down the state’s mask mandate as “unconstitutional.” “She said, ‘I’m not wearing my mask tomorrow,'” Igoe recalled. Even though an appeals court judge temporarily reinstated the mandate on Tuesday afternoon, Igoe’s daughter’s actions took place while the mandate was no longer in effect.

Indeed, Igoe gave Fox News Digital an email that Superintendent David Perry had sent to school officials, urging them to uphold the mandate despite the court ruling.

Email from South Colonie Central School District Superintendent David Perry

Email from South Colonie Central School District Superintendent David Perry

“Please see attached court document regarding NYS Supreme Court Justice Thomas Rademaker’s ruling today, January 24, 2022, that the Governor’s mask mandate for students is illegal,” Perry wrote. “This will undoubtedly get appealed as there are several court levels higher than this judge. We will stay the course with mask usage in South Colonie until further notice.”


Igoe recounted the events of Tuesday, Jan. 25.

“She was stopped in the hallway, and then she was dragged,” he recounted. “The administrators told her to put a mask on, she said she’s not putting a mask on, it’s illegal. Then a school resource officer grabbed her by her arm, and dragged her through the hallway into the cold vestibule of the school.”

(Vincent Igoe)

Igoe said he arrived at the school around 7:50 a.m. He confronted the school resource officer and an associate principal. “If you’re not going to let her in school, I said please provide me suspension documents or something in writing saying why you are not letting her in school,” he told Fox News Digital. “All I’m asking for is this document, something in writing saying why they want her to leave.”

“I stayed in that vestibule with my daughter until the police department threatened to arrest me,” he said. He left and returned hours later.

“They kept her in that vestibule all day long, with no food, no water, and no bathroom,” he said. 

Igoe said the school initially refused to let his daughter use the restroom, but later relented. “They walked her outside in 15-degree weather, no jacket,” to use the bathroom “in an unused part of the school, unused and unheated part of the school.”

The father also claimed that the school resource officer used force against his daughter, yet none of his footage shows the officer dragging his daughter by the arm.

Bob Winn, deputy chief at the Colonie Police Department, disputed parts of Igoe’s account and defended the school resource officer’s actions.

“The officer was trying to assist the mother of the child with getting her out of the school,” Winn told Fox News Digital on Sunday. He said that footage from inside the school exonerated the officer from Igoe’s claims. “He placed his hand on the backpack of the child, the mother was pulling the child by the arm.” Winn admitted that the officer later grabbed the girl’s sweatshirt by the arm.


Winn said the officer tried to “mitigate the situation” with the girl.

“The daughter wanted to stay as a sort of sit-in protest in the vestibule,” Winn explained, calling her time in the vestibule an “agreed-upon decision” between the girl and the school. “They had no responsibility to check on her,” although “one of the school officials did walk her to another part of the school to use the restroom.”

Winn did not address the legality of the mask mandate, but he noted that “the schools still had a policy in effect which they were applying,” and the officer assisted in that situation.

(Vincent Igoe)

Igoe’s videos did appear to capture his daughter’s mother encouraging the girl to follow the school’s rules and leave if she refuses to wear a mask.

Superintendent David Perry also cast aspersions on Igoe’s account.

“The South Colonie Central School District will not comment on details of the allegations made by Mr. Igoe other than to state that the allegations in the complaint are both false and misleading,” Perry told Fox News Digital. 

On Wednesday, Igoe’s daughter went back to school and agreed to wear a mask, because of the appeals court decision, he said.


“The following day I said, ‘Honey, you have to wear a mask tomorrow,’” he told Fox News. He said she agreed: “If the rule is I have to wear it, I’ll wear it.”

“She’s a good kid, she follows the rules,” Igoe added.

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