Cumberland County dad says teacher called him “neo-nazi”

A dad of Jewish descent is downright mad.  What started with a concern over a classroom assignment, led to bad mouthing from an educator the dad says doesn’t even teach at his daughter’s school.

Josh Barry was looking over the 13-year-old daughter’s American History assignment when he came across a few points he disagreed with.

Barry shares one question, “Do you feel is was irresponsible for politicians to threaten a shutdown?”  Then adds, “I don’t remember  any time where anybody was threatening to shutdown the Government.”

So he vented his concerns by emailing the teacher and the school board.

Barry says, “They’re handing them an article and saying who’s responsible for the shutdown when the article blames Republicans for it.”

Barry says somehow his concerns circulated all the way to a teacher at the high school.  That teacher responded to his message through a mutual friend on Facebook.

Barry says the teacher said, “It looks as though he’s a neo-nazi.”

Barry says he’s anything but that.  “The truth of the matter is, I’m Jewish, I went to the Yeshiva, in Harrisburg until 5th grade.  Went to Susquehanna after that.  I did go to Bishop McDevott so it was a choice between Harrisburg School district or private schools.”

In a written statement, the school board says:

“The District planned to meet with a parent who had a concern about a class assignment. A teacher that was not involved with the assignment took it upon themselves to address the issue that was made public by the parent on October 24, 2013. The teacher’s actions are not supported or sanctioned by the administration and school board of East Pennsboro Area School District. The District is looking further into this situation and will take appropriate actions.”

FOX43 also received an email from the Pennsylvania State Education Association.  The email includes the teacher’s statement:

Statement from Cydnee Cohen (Nov. 5, 2013)

“Recently I made a statement in a voicemail message to a friend regarding a matter involving another teacher in the East Pennsboro School District, in which I used some inappropriate language.

“I assumed my voicemail message was private, but private or not, it was inappropriate. I am very sorry that I used the words I did. I would like to personally apologize to the parent, which I plan to do.

“I also wish to apologize to the East Pennsboro community for my inappropriate language.”

Barry’s waiting to meet with the Superintendent.