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Former Braintree teacher photographed at Jan. 6 riot wins Braintree School Committee seat

A former Braintree Public Schools teacher who resigned after photos emerged of him outside the US Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot won a seat Tuesday on the Braintree School Committee, according to municipal records and a radio interview.

Matthew K. Lynch, 35, won one of three seats on the ballot , capturing 2,319 votes, making him the second-highest vote getter behind Lisa Fiske Hager, who received 2,718, according to unofficial results posted to the town’s website.

Lynch could not be reached for comment Friday.

In an appearance Thursday evening on “Nightside with Dan Rea” on WBZ News Radio, Lynch said he had not entered the Capitol building or participated in any violence and had been hounded from his teaching job by liberal activists.


Lynch said that he grew up in Braintree and taught history, math, college preparation, and special education courses at Braintree High School before his resignation.

“I wasn’t fired. I wasn’t forced to resign. The administration was good with me,” Lynch told Rea, according to a recording of the program.

Instead, he said, he left his job in February out of concern for his students after “people in town” alerted school officials and the FBI that he had been photographed outside the Capitol after attending a rally in support of then-president Donald J. Trump in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6.

“It wasn’t really fair for me to be there, kind of putting the kids under that type of duress,” he said, adding that he felt he had let down some of his students and coworkers by resigning.

Lynch told Rea he had spent “zero seconds” inside the Capitol and had not witnessed the violence as rallygoers pushed past police and dismantled barricades to enter the building.

He said he had gone to Washington with friends to celebrate the new year and a friend’s birthday and the group had decided on Jan. 5 to go to the rally the next day to hear Trump speak. After that speech, Lynch said, he and his friends returned to their hotel room nearby and watched on television as other rally attendees stormed the Capitol.


The group wanted to see what was happening , so they walked down Pennsylvania Avenue to join a crowd of onlookers. They stayed outside the barricades surrounding the building and didn’t engage in any violence, Lynch said.

Within days, local left-wing activists saw a photo of Lynch outside the Capitol that had been posted to Facebook and began to spread the word that he had been there, he said.

“They started calling me a domestic terrorist, they started e-mailing the school, the sheriff’s office, and then the FBI,” he said. “The next thing you know, the FBI are at my house.”

Lynch told two agents , “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,” he said.

Then, in February, agents visited him a second time after receiving further calls, but he was not charged with any crime, he said.

The Globe could not independently confirm that claim. An FBI spokeswoman in Boston declined to comment.

Lynch said he is now working for a mechanical company and taking law classes through Liberty University, a private Evangelical university in Virginia co-founded by evangelist Jerry Falwell.


Lynch doesn’t plan to be a politician long-term, he said, but wants to make change in Braintree schools during his four-year term on the School Committee.

Lynch posted a celebratory message to his supporters via Facebook early Thursday.

“Yesterday was extremely humbling with all the support people threw my way,” Lynch wrote. “Can’t thank you enough and if I didn’t respond to you yesterday I’ll try and get to all them! I had some good laughs yesterday as we made national news (and even the UK). The left hates free speech so anyone speaking out against their agenda they will try and villainize, oh well!”

He said his campaign team is setting up an in-person event so he can thank his supporters and discuss the path forward for the school district.

“As a society the past 19 months none of our decision making has been based of ‘what’s best for the kids’...that changes right now,” Lynch vowed, while also imploring his supporters to remember “to lean on each other through these hard times because iron sharpens iron.”

Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.