Todd Starnes

Josh Barry, of Camp Hill, Penn., wants to know why the president of the local teacher’s union thinks he’s a neo-Nazi after he complained about a classroom assignment that he believed to be biased.

“I’m Jewish and my wife is half-black, half-white,” Barry told me in a telephone interview. “I am the furthest thing from a neo-Nazi.”

Last week, his daughter’s eighth grade American History class at East Pennsboro Middle School was asked to analyze a New York Times story about the recent government shutdown.

Barry, who said he is a registered independent, read the story and then read a list of questions his daughter was required to answer and he immediately determined the assignment was “grossly slanted.”

The worksheet included questions like “To what issue do House Republican leaders insist on tying the federal budget?” and “Whom do you hold most responsible for the government shutdown?”

Barry fired off letters complaining about the assignment to his daughter’s teacher as well as the school board. But a few days later, he was shocked to discover that the head of the local teacher’s union was making calls around town – asking if he was a neo-Nazi.

The story was first reported on the website Examiner.com.

“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 teacher responded by explaining that the lesson was not about politics -- it was about literacy.

“The objective was not to promote any political agenda but to work on non-fiction reading skills,” the teacher wrote in an email obtained by Fox News.

Barry was not satisfied with the explanation.

“You will not indoctrinate my child,” he wrote. “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.”

Barry also reached out to the principal, who defended the teacher’s assignment and allegedly told him The New York Times story was not slanted.

On Friday the story took a bizarre turn.


Todd Starnes

Todd Starnes is the host of Fox News & Commentary – heard daily on 250+ radio stations. He’s also the author of “Dispatches From Bitter America.” To check out all of his work you can visit his website or follow him on Twitter @toddstarnes. In his spare time, Todd is active in his church, plays golf, follows SEC football, and eats barbecue. He lives in New York City.