Dan Bauman was arrested and charged with child abuse
A Florida father, fed up with the COVID-19 mask mandate, is being accused of assaulting a high school student during a mask-related dispute with a school resource officer.
The incident occurred at Fort Lauderdale High School on Wednesday. Dan Bauman, 50, and his daughter were arguing with a resource officer over the school’s mask mandate when another student called them out for causing a disruption, according to the Washington Post.
Bauman had reportedly visited the school more than once and a student passing by said: “I’ve had enough for four days,” according to an arrest report.
When the student noticed Bauman recording her on his cell phone, she attempted to reach for it and he assaulted her.
“[Bauman] then pushed the child by the shoulder and grabbed her hand and twisted her arm in an aggressive manner,” the school resource officer wrote in the arrest report, “which caused me and the security [guard] to pull [Bauman] off the child.”
Bauman was arrested by the Fort Lauderdale police and was charged with child abuse.
The school resource officer noted in his report that he turned on his body camera as Bauman approached the campus that morning because he is “known to cause disruption due to protesting the school board’s mask policy.”
Police have not released the bodycam footage due to the active investigation.
Broward County Public Schools said in a statement to WPLG that the mask policy ensures “students have a safe and healthy learning environment, especially now that they are back in the classrooms.”
Principle Sean Curran said there has been no pushback from students about wearing masks.
“Every single one of them is wearing it and are supportive of what the measures are to keep everyone safe,” he said.
Meanwhile, religious leaders, conservative politicians and more are helping parents evade COVID-19 protocols, which medical experts say undermines virus recovery efforts, theGrio previously reported.
An Oregon school superintendent is telling parents they can get their children out of wearing masks by citing federal disability law. A pastor at a California megachurch is offering religious exemptions for anyone morally conflicted over vaccine requirements. And Louisiana’s attorney general has posted sample letters on his office’s Facebook page for those seeking to get around the governor’s mask rules.
While proponents of these workarounds say they are looking out for children’s health and parents’ rights, others say such stratagems are dishonest and irresponsible and could undermine efforts to beat the highly contagious delta variant.
*This story contains additional reporting from the Associated Press.
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