The Ohio Department of Education is investigating a homeschool network with a neo-Nazi curriculum that asks children to practice cursive by copying Adolf Hitler quotes, offers tips to "avoid Jewish media content," and teaches that Black people "have a much lower IQ than whites." Logan and Katja Lawrence of Upper Sandusky have been using the "Dissident Homeschool" channel on Telegram to share these so-called educational resources with thousands of subscribers, reports WCMH and Vice. Educational officials across the state have condemned the network, which was highlighted by anti-fascist research group Anonymous Comrades Collective.
Though state officials are now reviewing "compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements," CNN reports they don’t actually have authority over homeschool curriculum. Parents of homeschooled students are asked to present a brief outline of the curriculum and a list of teaching materials to the local public school superintendent, but "there's little to no enforcement mechanism to ensure that parents are actually teaching the curriculum they submitted," reports HuffPost. Under state law, education officials can only intervene if there is "substantial evidence of cessation of home education," though people are now calling for change, per CNN.
The outlet found "a number of racist, anti-Semitic, pro-Nazi and homophobic posts that span back to the group's creation in October 2021." In the lead-up to Martin Luther King Jr. Day last month, Katja Lawrence, using the pseudonym "Mrs. Saxon," allegedly posted what she described as "a unit study for elementary ages," designed "to ensure our children know [MLK Jr.] for the deceitful, dishonest, riot-inciting negro he actually was." The user went on to describe the civil rights hero as "the face of a movement which ethnically cleansed whites out of urban areas and precipitated the anti-white regime that we are now fighting to free ourselves from."
"We have our children's best interest at heart," Netherlands-born Katja Lawrence, a mother of four, told a neo-Nazi podcast last year, per Vice. "We are so deeply invested into making sure that that child becomes a wonderful Nazi." According to a Telegram post in December, "Without homeschooling the children, our children are left defenseless to the schools and the Gay Afro Zionist scum that run them." Vice reports Lawrence recently worked as office manager at a law firm that lists "LGBT law" among its specialties. She has also helped design websites for the local sheriff's office and a prosecutor's office, according to the outlet. (Read more Neo-Nazi stories.)