Anti-Mask Dad Charged With Child Abuse After Encounter With Student

by Julie Scagell
CBS Miami/Youtube

The father had been causing issues for days trying to walk his daughter into school without a mask

A man who has been attempting to bring his daughter to school without a mask for days was arrested after he shoved a student during a heated exchange.

Dan Bauman, whose daughter attends Fort Lauderdale High School, a part of the Broward County Public School System, has been recording videos of himself trying to get her into the school sans mask, even though the district has a mandatory mask policy. When a student who has been watching this unfold said to Bauman, “I’ve had enough for four days,” and reached for his phone because he was recording her without her consent, Bauman grabbed her hand and pushed her against a gate, according to a police report.

Police were luckily standing by because they’d been repeatedly called for his alleged mask violations. They arrested him immediately and charged him with child abuse without great bodily harm, according to the arrest report. “[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.”

In one video during the week, Bauman can be heard telling a school official that his daughter “has a right to go in” and that, “this is illegal what you’re doing.”

In a separate interview, he told NBC 6: “I don’t care, the school board policy is illegal, and she’s not gonna put on a mask, no matter what, it’s not gonna happen.”

This latest incident comes as students return to school and fights about mandatory mask mandates, meant to protect students and the rest of the community as the highly contagious Delta variant numbers continue to spike, make headlines. Last week, a parent in Austin, Texas ripped a mask off a teacher’s face, and a week prior, a parent in California hit a teacher during a debate over masks.

In Florida, tensions remain high in districts defying Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’s ban on mask requirements. More than half of Florida’s students are enrolled in school districts that have defied his ban.

“Bauman was videotaping other students with his phone and causing a disturbance at the gate,” a Fort Lauderdale Police spokesperson said. In the arrest report, Bauman was described as “known to cause disruption due to protesting the school board’s mask policy.”

His lawyer, Corey Strolla, said Bauman was the “victim” of a robbery by the student suddenly taking his phone and that he “used absolutely no unnecessary physical force to legally obtain his property back in his rightful possession.”

Bauman was taken to Broward County Jail where bond has not been set. His attorney is now asking why the student who started the incident isn’t also facing charges.