The Department of Education in Ohio is investigating the openly antisemitic and racist Nazi homeschooling group with thousands of members being operated by a couple from Upper Sandusky, Ohio, an official at the department told VICE News.
On Sunday, VICE News and the Huffington Post reported that Logan and Katja Lawrence were the operators of the neo-Nazi Dissident Homeschool group which now boasts over 2,500 members on its Telegram channel, based on the research from anti-fascist researchers at the Anonymous Comrades Collective. The group openly advocates white supremacist ideologies with the aim to make sure the children they teach
“become wonderful Nazis.”
The Lawrences share their classroom schedules, homework assignments, and lesson plans with other parents in the group, the vast majority of which are infused with Nazi ideology or open praise for Adolf Hitler.
Katja Lawrence, 37, also shares examples of how her family embraces Nazi ideology, including baking a Fuhrer cake for Hitler’s birthday and sharing a recording of her children shouting “sieg heil.”
Earlier this month, while the rest of the country was celebrating the achievements of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., parents and children in the “Dissident Homeschool” network opened a lesson plan and were greeted with the words: “As Adolf Hitler wrote…”
The contents of the MLK lesson plan would be shocking for almost anyone, but for members of the 2,400-member “Dissident Homeschool” Telegram channel, this was a regular Monday at school.
“It is up to us to ensure our children know him for the deceitful, dishonest, riot-inciting negro he actually was,” the administrator of the network’s Telegram channel wrote, alongside a downloadable lesson plan for elementary school children. ”He is 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.”
Since the group began in October 2021 it has openly embraced Nazi ideology and promoted white supremacy, while proudly discouraging parents from letting their white children play with or have any contact with people of any other race. Admins and members use racist, homophobic, and antisemitic slurs without shame, and quote Hitler and other Nazi leaders daily in a channel open to the public.
VICE News joined the group simply by clicking on a link, though the list of members was not publicly visible.
What’s even more disturbing, however, is that the couple who run the channel are not only teaching parents how to indoctrinate their children into this fascist ideology, they’re also encouraging them to meet up in real life and join even more radical groups, which could further reinforce their beliefs and potentially push them toward violent action.
Next month marks the beginning of the 2020/2021 academic year in several US states, and pressure is mounting to reopen schools even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists. Florida, for example, is now considered the nation’s No. 1 hot spot for the virus; yet on Monday, the state’s education commissioner issued an executive order mandating that all Florida schools open in August with in-person learning and their full suite of student services.
Many parents are balking at back-to-school, choosing instead to homeschool their children this fall.
Gratefully, this virus seems to be sparing most children, and prominent medical organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics have urged schools to reopen this fall with in-person learning. For some parents, fear of the virus itself is a primary consideration in delaying a child’s return to school, especially if the child has direct contact with individuals who are most vulnerable to COVID-19’s worst effects.
But for many parents, it’s not the virus they are avoiding by keeping their children home—it’s the response to the virus.