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Teacher who resigned after US Capitol protest photo emerged elected to local school board: ‘We have a lot of work to do’

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One Braintree, Massachusetts teacher who resigned after photos of him at the Capitol on January 6 emerged, has now been elected to the town’s school board with the second highest number of votes.

Matthew Lynch, who grew up in Braintree, taught history, math, college preparation, and special education courses at Braintree High School before he resigned in February according to The Boston Globe

Despite the controversy surrounding the former teacher’s departure, Lynch secured the second highest number of votes, 2,319 to be exact, of the three people elected to the Braintree school board.

Lynch attended the January 6 march on the Capitol in Washington, D.C., but maintains that he spent “zero seconds” inside the building itself. In fact, it wasn’t until photos of him at the march surfaced that he faced backlash from his community.

“I wasn’t fired. I wasn’t forced to resign. The administration was good with me,” Lynch told WBZ, “Nightside with Dan Rea.”

Some concerned students and parents did eventually alert school officials and the FBI of Lynch’s attendance at the event, but the teacher has taken full responsibility for his decision since.

Lynch told The Patch that since his reported attendance at the event, he had been questioned by the FBI, but declined to elaborate saying, “Good luck with your article…hope you don’t print false information!”

“It wasn’t really fair for me to be there, kind of putting the kids under that type of duress,” the former teacher told  Rea. The decision to resign, however, did not come easy and Lynch felt that he let some of his students and coworkers down in that choice.

“Unfortunately as the times change and situations evolve, I can no longer be true to myself while servicing the role as a Braintree Public School Teacher,” Lynch wrote in his resignation letter that he shared with The Patch.

“My military experience as an Intelligence Analyst has given me a unique perspective on what is currently going on in both our country and our town and I fear we are heading on a real collision course. I feel I need to make my voice heard in the town of Braintree but in doing so will have unintended side effects which will be completely unfair to my students,” the former teacher penned.

Lynch told “Nightside with Dan Rea” that he had been in D.C. for a friend’s birthday, and the group decided on January 5 that they wanted to go hear then-President Trump speak the following day. After Trump’s speech, Lynch told Rea that he and his friends returned to their hotel room, but soon heard the news that many march attendees were storming the Capitol.

The group wanted to see what was going on with their own eyes, so they joined a crowd of observers on Pennsylvania Avenue, but Lynch maintains that they stayed inside the barricades and did not engage in any violence.

When photos of Lynch began to emerge, “They started calling me a domestic terrorist, they started e-mailing the school, the sheriff’s office, and then the FBI. The next thing you know, the FBI are at my house,” the former teacher explained.

Lynch told Rea that he maintained his innocence with the FBI.

“We didn’t do anything. We didn’t storm the Capitol. We didn’t riot. We didn’t go in there. We didn’t cross any barriers,” Lynch told the agents. 

The former teacher was visited a second time by the bureau because of continued calls, but he was never charged with a crime.

27 complaints from parents, students, and colleagues were filed against Lynch– most concerning January 6, but a few alleged transphobic and unsavory comments.

“Do you not feel parents have a right to know whether this man, who posted photos of himself unmasked at an out-of-state superspreader event, has been let back into the building to teach?” one resident wrote in a complaint obtained by The Patch.

“I don’t even care that he attended a rally to express his first amendment right — although there is a question of what he was doing there on a school day. The concern is that this man might be a radicalized individual who is in charge of some of our most vulnerable students,” another penned.

One of the complaints referenced a “transphobic” Facebook post by Lynch from December 16.

“The year is 2320 and a gender blender non conforming spaceship asks a kangaroo identifying man what was freedom and how did America lose it? Well thats simple the government used 9/11 to create a surveillance state with the patriot act (see Snowden) and then used COVID to create a police state with lockdowns and controlling all movement with ‘medical passports'(see CCP social credit system),” Lynch wrote in the post.

Students were visibly upset by the post and addressed their concerns with other teachers.

“He has proven himself no longer deserving of the distinct honor bestowed upon teachers to educate, mold and guide young minds. He has disgraced himself, his community and his country,” one teacher complained.

The majority of Braintree seems to disagree with that sentiment, however, easily electing Lynch to the school board.

“The left hates free speech so anyone speaking out against their agenda they will try and villainize, oh well! These people don’t care about Braintree kids, all they care about is power and control. Let them stay in their echo chambers hating life because we have ALOT of work to do!!” Lynch wrote in his victory post on Facebook.

“​​I’m not going to lie, we have a tough road ahead but nothing worth doing in life ever came easy! It’s time we stop using kids as shields and we start protecting them. So thanks again for all the support, we are just getting started!! Remember to lean on each other through these hard times because iron sharpens iron,” he added.

After resigning from teaching, Lynch got a job with a mechanical company and began taking law classes through Liberty University.

Lynch is not the only January 6 rally-goer to win public office on Election Day. The newly-minted school board member is one of at least seven attendees to win office, according to Boston.com, perhaps reinforcing the turning tides and red wave expected in 2022 as Americans are increasingly dissatisfied with Democrats and President Biden.

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