A Florida dad who objects to wearing facemasks to protect against COVID-19 has been charged with aggravated child abuse after he allegedly assaulted a student at his daughter’s school.
Dan Bauman, 50, walked his unmasked 10th grade daughter to school at Fort Lauderdale High School on Wednesday, as he had for four days previously since the school’s resumed in-person classes. Bauman’s daughter claims she can’t breathe in a mask and refuses to wear one as is required in Broward County schools, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.
Bauman records his walks to the school and the administration’s refusal to allow his daughter to enter without a mask. But on Wednesday, a student approached as Bauman was filming and tried to grab his cell phone. “I’ve had enough for four days,” the student said, according to Bauman’s arrest report.
The report says Bauman shoved the student’s shoulder, then “grabbed her hand and twisted her arm in an aggressive manner,” according to CBS Miami.
A police officer and a security guard stepped in, and Bauman was arrested. Before the arrest, he spoke to CBS Miami, telling the station his family doesn’t believe the science behind wearing a mask to protect against the spread of COVID.
School officials were sympathetic to Bauman but stood behind the school district’s decision to mandate masks. Fort Lauderdale High interim Principal Sean Curran said that officials have met with Bauman’s family multiple times to outline alternatives for them, but they have instead insisted that the school allow the daughter to attend classes without a mask. The rest of the student body, Curran said, is cooperative.
“Our kids are incredible,” Curran said. “Every single one of them is wearing it and are supportive of what the measures are to keep everyone safe.”
Class President Raymond Adderly agreed with Curran.
“Our local school district thinks the best way to protect our students is by a mask mandate. Every student here this morning is going to support that and has been doing so diligently,” he said. “One student does not speak for all of us.”
Bauman has run into problems before because of his refusal to wear a mask. A year ago, police were called to a Home Depot because of “an aggressive customer wearing pink thong underwear on his face as a mask,” the Sun-Sentinel reported. That customer was Dan Bauman.
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[Featured image: Dan Bauman/Fort Lauderdale Police Department]