Monday, June 17, 2024

Video shows white dad falsely claim black superintendent ‘touched’ him first when he rushed graduation stage


After a white Wisconsin father rushed a graduation stage and pushed a Black superintendent to prevent him from shaking his daughter’s hand, he falsely told police the school official touched him first, new video reveals.

On May 31, Matthew Eddy barged onto the stage at Baraboo High School’s graduation as his daughter was shaking hands with school officials. As she approached Superintendent Rainey Briggs, the father jumped on stage, grabbed the superintendent by his arm and dragged him away from his daughter, viral video of the incident shows.

Now, new police video shows that Eddy falsely stated the superintendent touched him first — a claim that video footage of the graduation disproves.

“I didn’t touch him until he touched me,” Eddy told Baraboo Police Officer Brandon Meyer just minutes after the incident, according to footage first obtained by local outlet WISN 12.

“I did not want him to be able to shake her f****** hand because he does not deserve it from her,” Eddy continued.

An unnamed father of a graduate pictured shoving Superintendent Rainey Briggs (far left) off the stage. In 2018, the same high school made national news after a photo emerged of several students performing the Nazi salute (TV43 Baraboo)

An unnamed father of a graduate pictured shoving Superintendent Rainey Briggs (far left) off the stage. In 2018, the same high school made national news after a photo emerged of several students performing the Nazi salute (TV43 Baraboo)

When police said they were not aware of any allegations that Briggs had targeted Eddy’s daughter, he explained he was upset about a perceived slight by the school district. Eddy said his daughter had to meet with school officials regarding expulsion but did not provide details.

Eddy also told police Briggs previously “rolled his eyes” when he spoke to him about his daughter.

Officers wrote in a report that they had reason to believe the push was “pre-planned” and that the father was sorry for the incident — but only because of the impact it had on his graduating daughter.

Matthew Eddy speaks to police after rushing the Baraboo High School graduation stage and pushing Superintendent Rainey Briggs (WISN 12)

Matthew Eddy speaks to police after rushing the Baraboo High School graduation stage and pushing Superintendent Rainey Briggs (WISN 12)

Eddy has since been charged with disorderly conduct, and Briggs has filed a restraining order against the father.

“We would like to emphasize that the safety and well-being of our students, staff, and community members is a top priority,” Baraboo School District spokesperson Hailey Wagner said in a statement regarding the incident.

Meanwhile, the Baraboo School Board condemned it.

“No employee of the School District of Baraboo should fear for their physical safety when fulfilling their job duties or at any other time,” the school board stated. “That this adult felt emboldened to behave in this way in front of hundreds of students and other adults should deeply trouble us all; this type of behavior will not be tolerated.”

While Eddy did not make any mention of Briggs’ race, David Hart, president of Blacks for Political and Social Action of Dane County, told WMTV 5 he is concerned about how Briggs was treated.

“After Dr. Briggs was pushed out of the way and prevented from doing his job, it does not appear that anyone checked on Dr. Briggs’ welfare, and he was forced to continue on amid this trauma,” Hart told the outlet. “While this incident could certainly have race neutral explanations, the treatment of Dr. Briggs looks all too familiar to us.”

Baraboo High School previously made national news in 2018 when a photo emerged depicting several current and former students doing the Nazi salute.

A group of current and former Baraboo High School students pictured performing the Nazi salute. (Twitter)

A group of current and former Baraboo High School students pictured performing the Nazi salute. (Twitter)

One boy in the front row can also be seen forming his index finger and thumb into an “OK” sign, a symbol co-opted by followers of far-right and white supremacist movements. The image was taken ahead of their junior prom and was not affiliated with the school or school district.

However, the school district ultimately refused to take disciplinary action against the students, citing their first amendment rights.



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