Pointing a finger and saying “bang!” isn’t the only thing that will get you in trouble in school today. Now it seems that just complaining about your child’s homework assignment can get a finger pointed at you — for being a neo-Nazi.
This is precisely what happened to Josh Barry of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. And the kicker?
Barry is Jewish and married to a woman who is half-black and half-white.
The problems started when Barry reviewed a homework assignment in which his eighth-grade daughter’s East Pennsboro Middle School (EPMS) asked students to evaluate a New York Times article on the government shutdown. After reading the story, Barry reviewed questions his daughter was required to answer, a couple of which were, “To what issue do House Republican leaders insist on tying the federal budget?” and “Do you feel it is principled or irresponsible, for politicians to threaten a shutdown?” Given their nature and that students were provided no opposing news sources for balance, Barry concluded that the homework was “grossly slanted.” Fox43.com reports:
[Barry said,] “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.”
And what was Barry’s reward for being a vigilant parent?
Cydnee Cohen, president of the East Pennsboro Education Association, called a mutual Facebook friend and said, “We’re having some problems with a parent in our school district ... I would like to know — some of it [what Barry said] seems like he’s a neo-Nazi” (recording here).
So what did the father say to give Cohen this impression? Here are the complaints he sent the school as reported by Fox News’ Todd Starnes:
“It is safe to say that I am less than pleased with your non-objective approach to education when it pertains to current political discussions in the classroom,” he wrote. “You have a duty to be objective and your information you provided my child was not only grossly slanted but it is incompetently incomplete.”
He pointed out the questions in the lesson were loaded with political ideology and “pre-loaded with incorrect premises.”
The history teacher who issued the assignment to Barry’s daughter, Darin Yoder, then responded to Barry, writing that the goal wasn’t to “promote any political agenda but to work on non-fiction reading skills.” Considering this a dodge, Barry wrote back, “You will not indoctrinate my child.... If you are going to present articles with a slant to one side you are morally and ethically required to present the opposing views, to give an opportunity for the student, your captive audience, to come to their own conclusions,” reported Starnes.
EPMS’ principal, Stephen A. Andrejack, then took the offense, scheduling an appointment to discuss the matter with Barry and saying to him, among other things, “As a parent myself who raised four boys, I take great offense to what you said.”
There was no mention whether Mr. Barry should be offended that a school official would imply he might be a neo-Nazi.
As for Cydnee Cohen, upon being informed by the mutual friend via text messages that Barry was not only no neo-Nazi, he was also Jewish, she responded, “he went to bishop mcdevitt!!” (referring to a local Catholic school) and “he is tea party right wing!” Addressing these obvious biases, Barry said, “She’s been taught to associate people who question authority, who raise their fist in the air who say I believe in the Constitution, or don’t indoctrinate my child, as you’re automatically a Nazi.”
But Cohen simply reflects much wider thinking. For instance, Democrat congressman Alan Grayson and other leftists have long equated the Tea Party with the KKK. And just last month, Todd Starnes reported that “[s]oldiers attending a pre-deployment briefing at Fort Hood say they were told that evangelical Christians and members of the Tea Party were a threat to the nation and that any soldier donating to those groups would be subjected to punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.” In addition, reporting a week ago on the findings of an “international study,” the Daily News suggested that gun ownership and pro-Second Amendment beliefs among whites — and “racism” — “go together.” The paper quoted study researcher Kerry O’Brien as stating, “There had already been research showing that ... blacks are more likely to be shot, so we thought there must be something happening between the concept of being black and some whites wanting guns.” There was no mention of the fact that 94 percent of black homicide victims are killed by other blacks.
Of course, many critics point out that it’s actually the anti-Second Amendment views of leftists that smack of Nazism. In fact, this point is illustrated well in a recently released book by author Stephen Halbrook entitled Gun Control in the Third Reich: Disarming the Jews and ‘Enemies of the State.
Speaking of enemies of the state brings us back to Cydnee Cohen, a woman so paranoid about a person’s possible Nazi leanings that she contacted one of his acquaintances asking for dirt on the man. One just has to wonder: Is the irony of this lost on her completely?