Dave Calus is a Webster, New York, parent who was forcibly removed from a School Board meeting by a security officer because he wasn’t wearing a mask.
According to Spectrum News, the incident happened at the Webster CSD Board of Education meeting on Tuesday evening, February 8, 2022, where masks are required.
The video has provoked controversy after going viral on social media because the officer appears to make physical contact with Calus.
You can watch the video later in this article. The security officer has not been named.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Video Shows the Security Officer Confronting Calus as Calus Sat in a Chair
The video shows Calus, 51, sitting in a chair without a mask when an officer approaches him and lifts up the chair with him in it. The officer and another man then forcibly remove him from the meeting.
“What are you doing?” a woman said. “This is a bunch of BS,” said a man.
A parent then shouted at a school board member about calling a recess. “This is ridiculous,” a man says.
Videos emerged from different vantagepoints. In one video, a woman shouted that it was “assault.”
Here’s another video of the incident.
Calus, whose son attends school in the district, told Spectrum News that he was aware that signs said masks were required and took a mask at the door but didn’t put one on.
“And I sat there for 20 minutes, politely, peacefully observing the board meeting until the security personnel came up to me,” he said to the television station, adding that he was there to express concerns about students wearing masks.
“Should I have worn a mask?” Calus said. “Maybe, but if I’m there advocating on behalf of my child, you know, to go to school mask free while I’m wearing a mask, that’s really not going to carry a lot of weight, right?” he told the television station.
He described how a security officer approached him, saying, “So he came up to me, he said, sir, you need to wear a mask,” Calus said. “I said, thank you very much. He came back and he said, you need to wear a mask right now. I said, thank you very much. And then he said, you need to put that on right now. And I said, no, I don’t and then he put his hands on me.” He denies being asked to leave the meeting.
Police Say They Are Investigating
Dennis Kohlmeier, the chief of police in Webster, wrote in a statement posted to the department’s Facebook page, that the incident is under investigation.
The Webster Police Department has received several inquiries regarding the incident that occurred at the school board meeting last night, February 8th. The purpose of this press release is to clarify the initial information that we have. While our school resource officers were present at the school during the meeting, they were not directly involved in the altercation and responded from other areas of the school when they were made aware. They then deescalated the situation and preserved the peace. We have also spoken to the individual involved in the incident with school security and we are conducting an investigation. When an investigation is complete, we will make a determination on whether charges are appropriate. We appreciate the patience in this matter while we do our due diligence.
People posted varying responses on the department’s Facebook page.
“If you can’t follow the rules then don’t go to the meetings. You know you’ll get called out on not wearing a mask. You obviously did this to get attention. Why is it such a big deal to put a mask on. Think of others and don’t be so selfish to only think of yourself,” wrote one.
But another person wrote, “Webster police should have arrested the guard! This is outrageous! Everyone who saw the video knows that was a very over reach of any law for this land and especially at our American schools!”
A statement from Webster Central School District reads, according to Spectrum News:
“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 Gov. Kathy Hochul advocating for guidance and guidelines regarding an exit strategy for masking and other mitigation strategies.”
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