Students at a Florida high school, walk to the campus on their first day of school, Monday, Aug. 23, 2021 AP Photo/Marta Lavandier
A Florida father pushed, grabbed and twisted the arm of a high school student over a mask dispute.
Dan Bauman was arrested and charged with one count of child abuse on Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale.
Gov. Ron DeSantis has been waging a war with Florida school districts over mask mandates.
A 50-year-old Florida father was arrested and charged with one count of child abuse on Wednesday after authorities say he pushed a female high school student and twisted her arm over a mask dispute outside Fort Lauderdale High School.
Dan Bauman, the father of another female student at the high school, was already known to local authorities as a vocal anti-masker and frequent disrupter, according to an arrest report released by Fort Lauderdale Police Department and reviewed by Insider.
Fort Lauderdale High is one of several campuses overseen by Broward County Public Schools, where a high-profile fight over masks in school has been raging in recent weeks after the school board voted to flout Governor Ron DeSantis’ ban on mask mandates and require the COVID mitigation method in classrooms despite continued threats from the governor’s office.
Bauman and his 10th grade daughter have openly defied the district mask mandate since it was implemented earlier this month, according to WFOR-TV in Miami. The outlet reported Bauman’s daughter has refused to wear a mask in school and has been turned away by the administration each day.
“I want to be able to go to school like everyone does but I can’t wear a mask, I can’t breathe in it and I want to have that choice,” Bauman’s daughter told CBS on Wednesday morning before the incident.
According to authorities, Bauman was at the front entrance to the school yet again on Wednesday morning, recording other students with his phone and “causing a disturbance.” Recognizing Bauman as a protester of the school board’s mask mandate, the school resource officer turned his body worn camera on, according to the affidavit.
As Bauman continued to record, a passing student told him she did not want to be videotaped, saying “I’ve had enough for four days” before trying to grab the cell phone out of Bauman’s hands, according to authorities.
Bauman responded by pushing the student into a fence, grabbing her hand, and twisting her arm “in an aggressive manner,” the affidavit said. The school resource officer and security pulled Bauman off the student and placed him into custody.
Following the incident, which was partially caught on camera, Bauman was booked into Broward County’s main jail and charged with one count of child abuse, according to county records. No bond has been listed as of yet, and it was unclear if he had an attorney.
The incident is one of the latest examples of parents resorting to violence and threats over proven COVID-19 mitigation methods like masks and vaccines in schools.
Broward County Public Schools addressed the situation in a Wednesday statement to Insider, calling safety the district’s highest priority.
“There was an incident today involving a student and the individual you referenced, which resulted in Fort Lauderdale Police intervening and taking the individual into custody,” the statement said.
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