A University of Central Arkansas student was sentenced to 10 days in jail for peacefully protesting a local school board’s anti-trans policies.
Alex Barnett, 20, was tried in Faulkner County District Court in December 2022 and convicted of criminal trespass and failure to disperse after pleading guilty to the charges.
In addition to the 10-day sentence, which he has since served, Barnett was ordered to pay a $650 fine.
Barnett’s protest was in reaction to the Conway school board introducing anti-trans policies. Barnett’s story has recently received widespread attention after his case was reported on by Judd Legum for his Substack, Popular Information.
In October 2022, the Conway school board voted to implement new regulations that forced students to use bathrooms that align with their sex assigned at birth.
In November 2022, Barnett organized a group of 20 University of Central Arkansas students to attend a Conway school board meeting and speak out against the new policies.
The group began chanting “Trans Lives Matter”. The police told them to leave, and all but Barnett, Keylen Botley, and Colburn Clark dispersed. They were arrested shortly after.
Botley took a plea deal and paid a fine of $450 with no jail time, while Barnett chose not to take a plea deal as he felt he hadn’t done anything wrong.