A school district in upstate New York released a statement Wednesday suggesting that a father who was violently dragged out of a school board meeting by a district security guard was to blame for the incident, alleging that he was not being “civil” by refusing to wear a mask.
“We strive to hold board of education meetings in public in order to inform the community of activities going on in our schools,” said a statement from the Webster Central School District, addressing the incident. “Those meetings can only occur when everyone in attendance acts in a civil manner.”
Notably, the father, identified as Dave Calus, claims he was sitting quietly for 20 minutes before the security guard approached him and physically accosted him. Calus, who said he has one son in the district, also claimed that there were other parents at the meeting who were not wearing their masks.
The statement from Webster Central called the incident “unfortunate,” but the district did not specifically express any regret about their security guard physically dragging the father out of the room.
“There was an unfortunate incident during last night’s Webster CSD Board of Education meeting. Prior to entering last night’s meeting, visitors were reminded to wear masks in school buildings as is mandated by New York State,” the statement said. “The individual whom you inquired about was asked to put his mask on three times and he refused. He was then asked to leave the meeting and refused to do so, resulting in Webster CSD security physically removing the individual from the meeting.”
“We strive to hold board of education meetings in public in order to inform the community of activities going on in our schools,” the district continued. “Those meetings can only occur when everyone in attendance acts in a civil manner. We understand that individuals have strong feelings about masking. We hear those concerns and are continuing to monitor the rapid changes in this ongoing pandemic.”
“This week, the Monroe County Council of School Superintendents wrote a letter to Governor Kathy Hochul advocating for guidance and guidelines regarding an exit strategy for masking and other mitigation strategies,” Webster Central closed the statement. “Webster CSD will continue to keep our community informed of any changes to masking requirements in our schools.”
The Daily Wire reported on the incident Wednesday, outlining the physical altercation captured on video:
[T]he security guard walks up to the dad, identified as Dave Calus, who is sitting down without a mask on, and talks to him for about four seconds, though it’s unclear what is said. Then the security guard grabs the back of the man’s chair, drags him backward, and proceeds to grab the man by the back of the jacket until the jacket is completely off the man. The man then turns around and faces the security guard.
The woman taping the video is heard yelling, “What are you doing?! What are you doing?! Holy crap. Holy crap.” Another woman says to the security guard, “Do you put your hands on our children, too?”
The security guard then points to the door and crowds the man as he tries to sit back in his seat. While the man is sitting, the security guard forcefully grabs the chair with one hand under the seat and the other on the back of the chair and continues to push forward until the chair is sufficiently tipped for the man to be tipped out, though he does land on his feet.
Then two security guards, including the man who tipped the man out of the chair, push the man out of a back door as the man tries to resist his exit. People are heard yelling, “What are you doing?” and “Do you do that to the kids?”
A police officer is seen calmly walking out the door to where the man has been physically removed.
To watch the video, click here.
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