Parent accused of abusing student at Fort Lauderdale High in apparent mask dispute

Fort Lauderdale police arrested Dan Bauman, the parent of a student at Fort Lauderdale High School on Wednesday. An arrest report accuses him of pushing another student recording with a cellphone outside the school.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The parent of a Fort Lauderdale High student was arrested outside the school Wednesday morning and accused of aggravated child abuse.

Fort Lauderdale police say Dan Bauman, 50, was with his daughter just before 7:30 a.m. “as she attempted to enter the school gate without a mask,” which is against the school district policy in Broward County.

“Bauman was videotaping other students with his phone and causing a disturbance at the gate,” Sgt. DeAnna Greenlaw said in an email. “One of the students (victim) did not want to be videotaped. The student attempted to grab Bauman’s phone. He responded by pushing the student backwards into the fence.”

Authorities say Bauman, who was already known to officers from causing previous disruptions as he protested the face mask policy, was arrested and taken to the BSO Mail Jail to face one count of child abuse. 

He is accused of pushing the student by her shoulder and grabbing her hand and “twisting her arm in an aggressive manner,” according to the arrest report.

Part of the incident was caught on camera as guards pulled Bauman away from the student.

Bauman’s daughter gave her account of what happened on video, saying:

“We were just talking to the adults, whoever was in charge, right? And then some teenage girl with a mask on just came up to [my father] and then just took the phone,” she said. “He tried to get it back from her. I think it was planned, because all the cops, all the adults, were surrounding him, grabbing him, insisting he was assaulting her.”

Broward County Public Schools issued a statement Wednesday afternoon, saying:

“Safety is always our School District’s highest priority. There was an incident today involving a student and the individual you referenced, which resulted in Fort Lauderdale Police intervening and taking the individual into custody. We defer to law enforcement for any additional details.

“Regarding the issue of masks, the District’s focus remains on ensuring all students have a safe and healthy learning environment, especially now that they are back in the classrooms. The school’s leadership has been attempting to work with the family regarding the mask requirement and has provided information about exceptions allowed under the School Board’s Face Covering policy, as well as information on the Hope Scholarship. The school and District want all students to be in class for face-to-face learning and to keep our schools open as COVID-19 positivity rates continue to climb. They will continue to communicate with the family to resolve the issue.”

About the Author:

Trent Kelly is an award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the Local 10 News team in June 2018. Trent is no stranger to Florida. Born in Tampa, he attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he graduated with honors from the UF College of Journalism and Communications.