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Tipsheet

The Ohio Department of Education Is Investigating a 'Nazi-Based' Homeschooling Network

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File

This week, reports broke that the Ohio Department of Education is investigating an “openly anti-Semitic and racist” online homeschooling network that shares Nazi-related resources. 

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A state education official told CNN that the homeschooling group has more than 3,000 members who share content and lesson plans through a social media platform. Reportedly, “a number of racist, anti-Semitic, pro-Nazi and homophobic posts that span back to the group’s creation in October 2021.”

Now, the state’s education department is reviewing compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements for homeschooled students, which includes 900 hours of instruction per year, informing the superintendent they wish to homeschool their children, and providing assessments of the student’s work. The state’s education department does not review or approve the curriculum.

According to Fox 8, the “Nazi-based” homeschooling group was started by a couple based in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. Reportedly, the couple uses the platform Telegram to communicate with its members and go by the names “Mr. Saxon” and “Mrs. Saxon.” VICE News first reported the existence of the group. 

U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, who represents the district where the couple lives, called for the authorities to investigate the homeschool network. 

“Hatred and bigotry of all forms has absolutely no place in America,” he said in a statement.

And state Rep. Riordan McClain, a Republican, who represents Upper Sandusky, told Fox 8 he would “continue to investigate” the “validity” of the reports about the homeschooling group. 

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“I have lived in and around Upper Sandusky my entire life, and I can say with absolute certainty that the actions described in the recent article are not representative of our community, and neither are they representative of home educators throughout the state of Ohio,” McClain said in the statement.

“I condemn the details described in this article regarding Nazi-based teachings, any racial superiority based curriculum should be unthinkable,” he added. “The article details a recent naturalized citizen from the Netherlands and her local husband who organized an international online community promoting racial hatred and ideals that we should all condemn.”

In a statement to CNN, Stephanie Siddens, the interim superintendent of public instruction in Ohio, said she is “outraged and saddened” by the reports. 

“There is absolutely no place for hate-filled, divisive, and hurtful instruction in Ohio’s schools, including our state’s home-schooling community. I emphatically and categorically denounce the racist, antisemitic, and fascist ideology and materials being circulated as reported in recent media stories,” she said.

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