An anti-masker man who had been trying to bring his mask-less daughter back to school in Florida's Broward was arrested on Wednesday for physically assaulting her classmate.
In a video that was widely circulated on social media, 50-year-old Dan Bauman was seen shoving his daughter's classmate while protesting against the Broward country public school's mask mandate.
Mr Bauman has been recording his multiple attempts to get his 10th-grade daughter into the Fort Lauderdale high school sans a mask.
Calling the school's mandate "illegal," Mr Bauman can be seen in one of the videos saying his daughter has "the right to go in."
"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," he told CBS Miami.
A masked student reportedly approached Mr Bauman and said "I have had enough for four days" and tried to wrest the phone from him. He then immediately shoved the student and "grabbed her hand and twisted her arm in an aggressive manner," the arrest report read.
He was taken into custody and has been charged with aggravated child abuse.
The school’s interim principal Sean Curran said that the administration is following the guidance of the Broward County school district. In the past, the school had met with Mr Bauman's family to detail exceptions that were available, he added.
"Every single one of them is wearing it and are supportive of what the measures are to keep everyone safe," Mr Curran said.
The Florida state board of education has sent an order to Broward and Alachua county schools stating that they have two days to comply with the state's orders to allow an opt-out option for masks, otherwise the state will begin withholding funds.
However, the Broward school organisation on Tuesday stood their ground against the state's efforts to force schools to reverse the mask mandate, arguing that the Florida law allows the district authority to impose "dress-related requirements, including masks, to protect the safety of students and staff."
At least eight school districts with more than one million students were defying the governor’s order, AP reported.
Florida has been recording the highest numbers of deaths related to Covid-19 since the onset of the pandemic due to the rapid spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus. Despite the spike in cases, Governor Ron DeSantis has been firm on banning the mask mandate.
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