Fort Lauderdale

‘I Didn't Feel That I Did Anything Wrong': Anti-Mask Father Speaks Out After Clash Caught on Camera

A South Florida father who was arrested Wednesday for shoving a student while protesting the Broward County school district's face mask policy has been bonded out of jail

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The father of a Broward County high school student was released from jail Thursday after being arrested for allegedly shoving a student while protesting the school district's face mask policy.

Dan Bauman, who was arrested at Fort Lauderdale High School Wednesday, was released from the Broward County jail on a $5,000 bond.

“I didn’t feel that I did anything wrong and all of a sudden I am being charged with what with was it—aggravated child abuse— a first-degree felony for being basically assaulted,” Bauman said via Zoom. 

Bauman shared a video with NBC 6 that showed what he said took place at the high school Wednesday morning. According to Bauman, he was trying to get his daughter into class without wearing a mask.

Bauman said when he turned around, all he saw was a masked person lunge toward him.

"I couldn’t tell if it was a male a female, a minor, an adult. All I saw was a person lunge out [..] at me I felt an impact on my hand—my phone being grabbed away from me.  And at that point I just wanted to recover my property," he said.

The officer’s police report stated that Bauman "pushed the child by the shoulder and grabbed her hand and [twisted] her arm in an aggressive manner which caused me and the security to pull the defendant off the child.”

Corey Strolla, Bauman’s attorney, said: “Literally, [he] only touched the student to get his phone back."

Strolla said the Broward State Attorney should drop the current felony charge of child abuse without great bodily harm.

“I think this is going to be another case where Gov. DeSantis is going to step in and get involved if the Broward County justice system and the State Attorney’s Office does not do the right thing again,” Strolla said.

When it comes to masks in Broward schools, the Florida Education Commissioner sent a letter saying the board has to document and report anytime a student is prevented from coming inside without a mask.

Broward School Board Chair Dr. Rosalind Osgood spoke out about the incident Thursday afternoon.  

“We want the trauma to stop. We’re even seeing this now play out where we had a student assaulted at one of our schools yesterday. We want to get back into the business of solely focusing on educating out students,” Osgood said.

The judge Thursday told Bauman to stay away from the teen who he says went to take his phone. His lawyer says Bauman doesn’t even know who the student is.

The police and school board didn’t have an update on the student, but the school board remains firm saying you have to wear a mask.  

Bauman says he’s trying to sort out if he’s going to homeschool his daughter or what he's going to do. Bauman said he’s concerned about her safety.

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