Is Nazi Ideology Being Taught in Ohio Homeschools?

The idea of Nazi ideology being taught in Ohio homeschools is shocking, but recent reports suggest this may be happening. Ohio’s education department is actively investigating the apparent use of fascist materials by a home-schooling network run by a couple living in the state. These materials reportedly denigrate the intelligence of African Americans and celebrate Adolf Hitler.

Ohio’s education agency is aware of the reports and is looking into whether the network is in compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements. The state mandates that certain topics be taught, but does not govern details of what home school can and cannot include.

The Anonymous Comrades Collective, a group of anti-fascism researchers, reported that an organization called Dissident Homeschool was distributing pro-Nazi curriculum via a Telegram channel with more than 2,300 subscribers. The group’s leaders call themselves Mr. and Mrs. Saxon, but have been identified as Katja and Logan Lawrence of Upper Sandusky, Ohio.

The messages and lessons distributed by the home schooling network are filled with Nazi, white supremacist and racist lessons. The Lawrences allegedly celebrated their 1,000th subscriber with a photo of boys delivering a Nazi salute. They also reportedly said they started the network because they were having trouble finding “Nazi approved school material for my home-schooled children.”

One lesson distributed by the network teaches students that Black people have lower IQs than White people do. The lessons venerate Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and denigrate the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. In a lesson reported by HuffPost, children are taught handwriting by copying a quotation about “the behavior of the blacks” that begins: “A leopard does not change his spots just because you bring him in from the jungle and try to housebreak him and turn him into a pet.”

In Ohio, parents who want to home school their children must notify the local school district and provide 900 hours of instruction per year on a range of subjects including language, reading, geography, math and science. They also must provide an assessment of student work.

In a statement, Stephanie K. Siddens, Ohio’s interim superintendent of public instruction, condemned the Nazi home-schoolers but said nothing about how they might be stopped. The superintendent of the Upper Sandusky Exempted Village Schools, Eric Landversicht, also responded to the reporting with a letter to the community. He said he could not discuss specific students and said there was nothing he could do to stop this teaching.

It’s concerning that Nazi ideology may be taught in Ohio homeschools. The state is investigating the matter, but it is unclear what can be done to stop it. We can only hope that the state will take appropriate action to prevent this type of teaching from taking place.