Florida dad charged with child abuse in school mask dispute

The father of a Florida high school student, who is known for protesting the district's mask mandate, was charged Wednesday with child abuse after authorities said he pushed another student who took issue with his recording his latest anti-mask stunt.

The man, Dan Bauman, was recording his daughter on his cellphone Wednesday morning as she tried to enter Fort Lauderdale High School without a mask on, according to an arrest report released by the Broward County Sheriff's Office. Another student told him, "I've had enough for four days," and tried to grab his phone, authorities said.

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Bauman, 50, pushed the girl into a fence, grabbed her hand and twisted her arm "in an aggressive manner" before a school resource officer and a security guard pulled him off her, according to the report.

The resource officer wrote in the report that he recorded the incident with his body camera, which he turned on when he saw Bauman because "this (defendant) is known to cause disruption due to protesting the school board's mask policy."

Bauman was detained and booked in Broward County's main jail on a count of aggravated child abuse, according to records. Bond wasn't listed, and it wasn't immediately clear whether he had an attorney.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, one of several Republican governors who signed laws or executive orders banning mask mandates, has threatened to withhold state funding equal to the salaries of the superintendents and all school board members in Broward and Alachua counties — a six-figure total in those districts — if leaders don't reverse their mask requirements.

Broward stood its ground Tuesday, saying state law gives the school system authority to impose dress-related requirements, including masks, to protect students and staff members, NBC Miami reported.

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