Who is Dan Bauman? Florida anti-masker shoves high school girl, held for child abuse
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA: It was supposed to be just another morning at a Fort Lauderdale High School, but things took a turn for the worse when a father got into a tussle with a student.
Fifty-year-old Dan Bauman tried for five days to walk his 10th-grade daughter into the high school without a mask. But was reportedly arrested on Wednesday, August 25, 2021, for shoving a student while protesting Broward County Public Schools' mandatory mask policy. His attorney is asking why the student who started the incident isn’t facing charges as well.
Broward County Public Schools has a mask mandate in place for all students. Bauman faces the charges of one count of aggravated child abuse, which is a first-degree felony. He remains in the Broward County Jail without bail after the incident at the school.
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🌴⚡️ BREAKING ⚡️🌴 This morning anti-mask protesters returned to Fort Lauderdale High School. We are receiving word that one of the protesters assaulted a student and is now in custody.— Miami Against Fascism (@MIAagainstFash) August 25, 2021
Listen here as students chant “wear a mask” at the protesters. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/QQSJIdHRLA
Over the past few days, Bauman has been recording his attempts to get his daughter into the high school without a mask. In one video, he's heard telling a school official that his daughter "has a right to go in" and that "this is illegal what you’re doing." In another interview with NBC 6, he said, “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."
What happened that day?
Bauman was outside the school on Wednesday morning, on yet another attempt at getting his mask-less daughter into school.
"Bauman was videotaping other students with his phone and causing a disturbance at the gate," a Fort Lauderdale Police spokesperson said while narrating the incident. In an arrest report, Bauman was also described as "known to cause disruption due to protesting the school board's mask policy."
According to the report, "The student responded 'I've had enough for four days' and tried to grab Bauman's phone, according to a police report. Bauman then pushed the student's shoulder and grabbed her hand, twisting her arm, the report read. A police officer and a security guard grabbed Bauman and placed him under arrest. He was taken to the Broward County Jail. Videos of the confrontation were posted on social media."
You can watch it here:
Another angle of the anti-mask parent arrested today at Fort Lauderdale High School after assaulting a student.— Miami Against Fascism (@MIAagainstFash) August 25, 2021
If you know the parents name, our DMs are open. 📲 pic.twitter.com/ZQIGZzMfbs
The school resource officer said he knew Bauman from previous protests over the school district's mask policy, Officer Paul Johnson wrote in his report.
Daughter vents on social media
Isabel, Dan's daughter, took to social media to vent about the arrest. "I think it was planned because of the cops. All the adults were surrounding him, grabbing him as if he was assaulting her,” she said.
Bauman was arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse, according to online jail records. If convicted, he faces a maximum 30-year sentence and a $10,000 fine. As per the latest reports, he also remains in Broward County's main jail pending a bond hearing. His lawyer, Corey Strolla, says Bauman was a victim of a robbery by sudden snatching and that he "used absolutely no unnecessary physical force to legally obtain his property back in his rightful possession."
The board is, however, unwilling to make any modifications. On Tuesday, August 24, 2021, the Broward County School Board told the Department of Education that it won't back down on its mask policy, which gives parents a medical opt-out for students. Additionally, the board also said that parents don’t have an unlimited right to send their kids to school without a mask - since it would infringe on the rights of other parents who want their children to be safe.
"What we have stated to them is that we do believe that it is an overreach of their authority, that we are legally compliant and we have respectfully requested that they rescind the order," interim superintendent Dr Vickie Cartwright reportedly said.
As per the latest report, the state had given Broward and Alachua counties until Tuesday, August 24, 2021, to put an end to their mask mandates. State officials threatened to withhold funding equal to school board salaries if a district doesn’t comply - these funds reportedly make up less than 1% of each district’s budget.