Shocking video shows a security guard forcibly removing a father, who refused to wear a mask, from a school board meeting in an upstate New York town on Tuesday.
The video, posted to Facebook by ROC for the Educational Freedom Public Page, shows an unmasked Dave Calus sitting in a chair during a school board meeting while a Webster Central School District (CSD) security officer speaks to him. Calus told the The Kimberley Revolution podcast that the goalkeeper asked him to put on his mask, to which he replied “thank you”.
“He said, ‘I need you to put your mask on right away. You’re going to put that on,” Calus recounted. “It was a request, it wasn’t asking anymore, and I said ‘No, I don’t,’ and that’s when he got his hands on me.”
The video appears to show the guard grabbing the back of the chair and pulling both Calus and the seat toward the exit, where other apparent security guards lead him out of the council chamber.
Calus, who has two sons in college and one who is a freshman at Webster Thomas High School, said The Kimberley Revolution he sat there for “probably 15 to 20 minutes without a mask”.
The incident comes as “New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Wednesday that the state will end a COVID-19 mask mandate requiring face coverings in most indoor public places, but will maintain for the ‘immediate masking rules in place at schools,’ the Associated Press reported.
Calus informed the podcast that he entered the building without wearing a mask.
“We signed up, they said, ‘you have to wear a mask,’ and I said, ‘thank you very much,’ he recalled, noting that he was given a mask but put it on in his pocket.
As he made his way to the meeting room, he said he had been told that unmasked parents would be forced to watch the council meeting in a classroom.
“They were separating masked and unmasked parents, and unmasked parents were going to have to sit in a classroom with a video monitor watching and listening to the council meeting.”
He said he walked into the classroom and said “this won’t work for me”, so he ventured into the meeting room where he sat until he be fired.
Calus says he was removed from the council chamber but not from the building.
His attorney, Chad Hummel, spoke to local outlet Spectrum 1 News about the incident.
“Dave has genuine concern for his son, of course, first and foremost, but genuine concern for the parents and other children in Webster, Monroe County and New York State who have been subjected to all of these warrants. ridiculous,” Hummel said.
According to a statement tweeted near town, the Webster Police Department is investigating the incident.
Webster Police Department response to inquiries regarding an incident at the Webster Central School Board meeting on February 8, 2022. pic.twitter.com/ponOC5LJ3C
— Webster, NY (@TownofWebsterNY) February 9, 2022
The Central Webster County School District released a statement on the incident, according to WHEC. The statement reads in part:
There was an unfortunate incident at the Webster CSD School Board meeting last night. Before entering last night’s meeting, visitors were reminded to wear masks in school buildings, as required by New York State. The individual you inquired about was asked to put on his mask three times and he refused. He was then asked to leave the meeting and refused to do so, leading to Webster CSD security physically removing the individual from the meeting.
“We strive to hold school board meetings in public to inform the community of ongoing activities at our schools,” the statement continued in part. “These meetings can only take place when everyone present acts in a civil manner.”