STEPHEN Nartey
BY Stephen Nartey, 2:48pm June 13, 2024,

An apology isn’t enough – Superintendent pushed by angry dad during daughter’s graduation reacts to incident

Image via YouTube/TV34BARABOO

Baraboo School District Superintendent Dr. Rainey Briggs isn’t ready to forgive or forget after a father, Matthew Eddy, shoved him at a graduation ceremony to prevent him from shaking his daughter’s hand.

Briggs has dismissed Eddy’s apology, asserting it doesn’t repair the harm caused during the May 31 incident. “An apology just doesn’t make things go away,” Briggs told the Daily Mail on Tuesday.

“The outreach was really to indicate that he, Matthew, understands his mishap in terms of what he did, what he’s caused. He’s remorseful.” Briggs said. “I took that as some form of apology, but that’s not something I think at this time amounts to a solid apology, from my perspective.”

During last month’s Baraboo High School graduation, Eddy was caught on camera jumping onto the stage, grabbing Superintendent Briggs, and pushing him aside, declaring, “I don’t want her touching him,” as his daughter collected her diploma.

”I don’t think an apology, an ‘I’m sorry,’ makes this go away because there’s a lot of harm that was caused.”

Eddy was escorted out and arrested for disorderly conduct following the graduation incident. Briggs subsequently obtained a restraining order against Eddy. The 49-year-old father claimed he shoved the Superintendent in response to Briggs allegedly rolling his eyes during a prior disciplinary hearing regarding his daughter’s expulsion.

“I did not want him to be able to shake her f—king hand because he does not deserve it from her, after all the s–t she went through in this district,” Eddy told police in a video obtained by WISN.

“He rolled his eyes when I brought up the fact the same thing happened to her and it pissed me off,” the father said, adding the school wasn’t treating his daughter fairly. “She was expelled for doing the same thing that was done to her, and nothing was done to the previous people,” Eddy said.

Briggs stated he did not recognize Eddy when he rushed the stage, despite Eddy telling police his actions were retaliation for a perceived slight during a prior disciplinary hearing.

“I have not personally had any interactions with him,” the school’s chief said. “I wouldn’t have been able to pick this guy out of any crowd. It wasn’t until after that I was able to pull his name up in the system to see who this was.”

Briggs expressed sympathy for Eddy’s daughter and the other 250 graduates affected by the incident at the ceremony.

“This is a moment in time for them that they’ll never get back the way they had hoped for this to go,” he said. “That was to walk across that stage with excitement, feeling like they’ve learned a lot, feeling like they’d experienced some amazing teachers. That was all to some degree pushed aside that particular night.”

“The optics don’t look good,” Briggs said after being asked whether he thought the incident was racially motivated. “The optics are what people around the world have gotten to see. And it’s caused them to formulate in their minds what was behind this situation.”

“But ultimately, Mr. Eddy is the only one that could tell you whether it was racial or not.”

Eddy’s statements to police, indicating that he and his daughter “have had past issues with Rainey and dislike him,” seemingly contradict Superintendent Briggs’ claim of not recognizing Eddy during the incident.

Eddy told police he “wanted to prevent Rainey from having the satisfaction of shaking her hand.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: June 13, 2024

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