66635a4d522bb7cd6c45e9e7 Baraboo High

Wisconsin parent charged with disorderly conduct after allegedly shoving superintendent at high school graduation

June 7, 2024
Authorities say Matthew Eddy rushed the stage at Baraboo High School to prevent the superintendent from shaking hands with his daughter, who was graduating.

A parent who is accused of rushing the stage last week during a high school graduation in Wisconsin to prevent the district superintendent from shaking his child's hand has been charged with disorderly conduct.

WXOW-TV reports that Matthew K. Eddy, 49, of North Freedom, was charged with the class B misdemeanor after he rushed the gymnasium stage at Baraboo High School in Baraboo and pushed Baraboo Superintendent Rainey Briggs backward.

The superintendent later told police that Eddy said he (superintendent) was "not going to touch his ******* child."

After off-duty Baraboo police officers came to the stage to assist, Eddy was escorted out of the gym.

The criminal complaint states that Eddy felt the superintendent treated him and his child "unfairly and unprofessionally" during a prior educational administrative proceeding.

Earlier in the week, a judge granted Briggs' request for a restraining order against Eddy.

NBC News reports that in his petition for the order, Briggs says Eddy “approached the stage quickly and put both of his hands on me to push me out of the way stating, ‘You are not going to touch my [deleted] daughter.’” 

As his daughter was crossing the stage at the graduation Friday, Eddy walked up the stairs to the stage and moved Briggs away, preventing him from shaking hands with his daughter, video of the incident shows.

Baraboo High School Principal Steve Considine was also on the stage with Briggs, as were four school board members. Eddy confronted only Briggs.

Briggs, 46, was named superintendent of the Baraboo district in July 2021 after having worked as a director of elementary education in another district. 

According to the most recent census data, the city of Baraboo has a population of less than 13,000. About 90.4% of its population is white.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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