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York City School District investigating teacher after Facebook spat

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch
Hannah Penn K-8. Bill Kalina photo

York City School District officials have launched an investigation into allegations that a Hannah Penn K-8 teacher sent harassing messages to another person while using a pseudonym, officials confirmed Monday.

Lancaster resident Zac Morrow on Sunday shared screenshots from his Facebook page of a conversation with another user. The messages included dozens of messages, including one from the other person saying, "God hates you and your fat family."

The other user has since deleted his or her account.

York City School District spokesperson ShaiQuana Mitchell confirmed the account belonged to a Hannah Penn K-8 teacher, although no one by the name used on the account works at the school.

An investigation of the matter has been opened, Mitchell said.

"The School District of the City of York was made aware of the incident that occurred and will be investigating," Mitchell said via email. "Since it is a personnel matter, this is the only information that we can provide at this time."

Mitchell refused to answer questions relating to the teacher's identity. The York Dispatch is not identifying the teacher involved because his or her identity could not be independently verified. 

Attempts to reach the teacher were unsuccessful. 

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School board officials and Hannah Penn K-8 Principal Brandon Hufnagel did not return messages seeking comment.

Morrow said he is an acquaintance of the teacher using the pseudonym online. Morrow does not have any children attending Hannah Penn K-8.

Dozens of messages flooded into Morrow's inbox Friday night after the pair got into a political dispute online. The teacher continued sending messages until 1:30 a.m. Saturday, Morrow said.

"I told him I would like an apology and if he chose not to apologize, I would show all of our friends the type of person he was," Morrow said. "I didn't start out with the intention to 'cancel anybody,' but I wanted an apology and he wouldn't give it."

He said school district officials reached out to him seeking screenshots of the conversation.

"I didn't make these decisions, they were his to make," Morrow said. "I gave him an out to apologize and we could have just moved forward, but he made the choices he made."

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.