A member of the Fort Dodge School Board has received public criticism after making controversial comments online late last week. Matt Wagner tweeted Friday “Forced Reparations for apprantly my ancestors…. I’m not even sure my ancestors owe anyone an apology, but evidently I do. Sorry for the privilege I get working 60 hours a week, while everyone else is at the lakes or looting a Target.” AFES Director Charles Clayton was critical of Wagner’s comments and offered this response online over the weekend, ” This morning I have former and current students asking me what they should do and what should be done about someone who thinks there should be no apology for slavery and only thing blacks do I guess is loot target. Here is your chance to do something fort dodge, no excuses , time to stand up to people,who think like this being in leadership positions.” Wagner did offer an apology online Saturday saying that he “stuck his foot in his mouth”, he also said his comments are indefensible and he will try to do and be better. Wagner said he hopes 48 years of giving back to his community isn’t undone by social media.
The Fort Dodge Community School District issued a statement on the issue Sunday Night, their statement did not mention any possible discipline Wagner may be facing. The District’s statement was made by School Board President Stu Cochrane and said ” The Fort Dodge Community School District is aware of a tweet by one of its Board of Directors, Mr. Matt Wagner. The personal comments of Matt Wagner do not reflect the values or sentiment of the Fort Dodge Community School District, its administration, staff or Board of Directors. As a safe and supportive school community, we value everyone and believe that our differences make us stronger and more resilient. Our District stands against any and all acts of racism, disrespect, and inequitable treatment of persons of color.”