WEBSTER, NY – A father was roughly dragged out of a school board meeting by security guards in upstate New York earlier this week after he repeatedly refused to put on a mask. Dave Calus was attending a Webster board of education meeting on Tuesday night – he had planned on speaking against mask mandates during the meeting’s public comment period – when a security guard told him that he needed to follow New York State COVID-19 mandates and put on a mask.
Calus refused, and after several back-and-forth exchanges where he was told he needed to either mask up or leave, the security guard proceeded to take a hold of Calus’ chair – as seen on bystander video – and drag him to the back door of the room that the meeting was being held in.
When Calus attempted to get up out of the chair that he was being dragged in, the guard grabbed the hood on his jacket and yanked him back down. After a second guard gets involved, Calus is then seen being pushed out of a back door.
“What are you doing?!” the woman filming the incident yells at the guard. “That is assault. That is assault.”
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The day after this incident, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced that she was ending the mask mandate for business in the state, citing the current very low COVID-19 positivity testing rate. However, the mask mandate is still currently in effect for schools and state-run facilities.
Calus, a father of two, later said during a podcast interview that he had gone to a local walk-in urgent care facility after the incident, but that he was uninjured; he also claimed that the school district had been “segregating masked and unmasked parents” at the meeting, forcing the unmasked to watch the meeting remotely on video in a separate room.
The school issued a statement on Wednesday about the incident, calling it “unfortunate,” but added that Calus had been warned several times before being forced to leave the meeting.
“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 read. “The individual 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 ”The Webster police department has announced that they are investigating the incident.