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NH Teacher Accused Of Playing Kissing Game With Students

PORTSMOUTH, NH (CBS) - A federal report into a lengthy investigation of sexual harassment by a teacher at Portsmouth High School has been released.

The investigation began after a parent, who wants to remain anonymous, complained that teacher Joe Arnstein was showing R-rated movies in Spanish class.

"There was significant nudity and sexual content to the point that it would be considered soft-core pornography," said the parent. "And it had no place in a classroom with 14-year-old children."

According to the report by the United States Department of Education Office For Civil Rights, Arnstein told officials he was hoping to encourage student engagement in class.

He was also accused of playing a vocabulary game in which students who answered correctly could receive a coin or kiss him on the cheek.

"I can't even imagine how any adult could even think this was a proper game," said the parent, who is considering filing a lawsuit against the district.

His attorney, Jay Nadeau, tells WBZ-TV he has filed a notice with the school district indicating legal action is being considered.

The report faults the teacher for "sexual conduct" and the school for failing to thoroughly investigate the behavior.

"If that was taking place it's obviously inappropriate," said parent Marcy Baer.

A support page for the teacher is on He continues to teach at the high school.

"I've heard outstanding words about this man," said parent Renee Davis.

An attorney for the school district says he has a "pristine personnel record".

School officials would not discuss what type of punishment Arnstein faced, but the federal report says he was disciplined and had to undergo sexual harassment training.

In a statement today, the school district says it has "…revised its policy and grievance procedures...over the next few weeks, all high school personnel and all high school students will receive training on what constitutes harassment."


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