The father of a Florida high school student was charged Wednesday with child abuse after authorities said he pushed a female high school student and twisted her arm over a mask dispute outside Fort Lauderdale High School.
Dan Bauman, 50, faces the charges after the incident at the school, which has a mask mandate in place for all students. He has tried for five days to walk his 10th grade daughter into the school without a mask, reported The Raw Story.
Bauman Grabbed the Female Student's Hand and Twisted Her arm "In an Aggressive Manner"
Bauman was recording his daughter on his cellphone Wednesday morning as she tried to enter the school without a mask on, reported NBC News. He was recording other students with his phone and "causing a disturbance. Another student told him, "I've had enough for four days," and tried to grab his phone, authorities said.
Bauman, 50, pushed the girl into a fence, grabbed her hand and twisted her arm "in an aggressive manner" before a school resource officer and a security guard pulled him off her, according to an arrest report released by the Broward County Sheriff's Office.
A police officer and a security guard grabbed Bauman and placed him under arrest. He was taken to the Broward County Jail on a count of aggravated child abuse, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Bauman: A Vocal Anti-Masker
Bauman 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.
"'First of all, it's illegal for them to mandate it. It's against the law, it's against the Parents Bill of Rights. Our belief is it doesn't stop the spread of the virus. It doesn't control it, it does more harm than good," said Bauman, according to TV station 4CBS Miami.
Bauman's Daughter Says She Can't Breathe in a Mask
"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," Isabel, Bauman's daughter told the TV station.
High-Profile Fight Over Masks in the Campus
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, reported Business Insider.
DeSantis has threatened to withhold state funding equal to the salaries of the superintendents and all school board members in Broward and Alachua counties â a six-figure total in those districts â if leaders don't reverse their mask requirements, reported NBC News.
Social Media Reactions
Some social media users have bashed Bauman for recording the video and messing up with the female student while some netizens believe that it is important to consider the viewpoint of Bauman's daughter as is unable to breathe in a mask.
One Twitter user said: "This is beyond sickening! That young student will be traumatized because of an empowered grown man. Our Gov and enablers have created this! Shameful!"
Another wrote: "She shouldn't have physically approached him but she is a minor and he had no right to record her or any of the students there. That should have been stopped by school officials when they saw it."
One comment read: "wtf this is my alma mater! obviously this is becoming common as I experienced an encounter where a man tried bullying me & my teen sister for wearing masks in a Wawa a few weeks ago. They're INSANE rabid is the right word! Prison for him physically assaulting a kid a girl."