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Wisconsin Dad Storms Stage to Stop Black Superintendent from Shaking Daughter’s Hand: ‘I Don’t Want Her Touching Him’

The same high school made headlines in 2018 when a photo of students performing the Nazi salute emerged.

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A father, from Wisconsin is facing charges of conduct for interrupting a high school graduation ceremony to prevent his daughter from shaking hands with the superintendent.

The incident took place at Baraboo High School, which was being live streamed by TV43 Baraboo on May 31. In a video that went viral the man, who is white can be seen rushing onto the stage and removing Superintendent Dr. Rainey Briggs, who’s Black as his daughter walks across the stage to greet school officials.

Briggs can be heard voicing his objections in the background as he asks to be left.

“You better get him off me, man,” Briggs said. “Get away from me, bro.”

District authorities watched the encounter in confusion  until off duty police officers and a school resource officer intervened. The mans daughter seemed upset before leaving the stage.

“That’s my daughter,” the man is heard saying on the video. “I don’t want her touching him.”

As he was escorted offstage by police amid cheers, from the crowd he reiterated his stance while being led out of the venue.

The Baraboo School District said that they are “working very closely with law enforcement to ensure a thorough investigation.”

Although the district did not reveal the identity of the individual who pushed Briggs they confirmed that he is a parent of a student at Baraboo High School. The police have referred the case to the Sauk County District Attorneys Office for charges related to disorderly conduct.

“This joyful celebration of our students’ achievement was interrupted by an adult who became physically aggressive towards the Superintendent, Dr. Rainey Briggs,” district spokesperson Hailey Wagner said in an email statement.

“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. The School District of Baraboo Board of Education condemns such actions and asks the community to take a stand and speak out against this type of behavior that threatens the fabric of our democracy,” the statement continues.

The Baraboo school district has faced criticism before for dealing with issues of harassment and discrimination.

Back in 2018 a photo circulated on media showing a group of male students from Baraboo High School giving a Nazi salute before their junior prom. An article from The New York Times stated that the superintendent at that time Lori Mueller apologized for the photo and described it as “hateful, frightening and disappointing.” However Mueller also mentioned that the district couldn’t discipline the students for their actions due to their First Amendment rights.

In 2020 Dasia Banks, a student from Baraboo schools filed a lawsuit against the district for alleged discrimination that school officials reportedly ignored. She alleged experiencing slurs, harassment and sexual assault from classmates. The district reached a settlement with Banks in the year awarding her and her team $862,000, in damages.

In 2021 Briggs was appointed as the superintendent of Baraboo. The school district had a student population of, than 2,800 with 1.6 percent being Black and the majority around 80 percent being white.

According to a report released by NCES in 2024 there are currently 2,701 students enrolled in schools, within the Baraboo area. The student body composition consists of 90% students, 4% Hispanic or Latino students and only 1% Black students.