UPPER SANDUSKY, Ohio (WJW) – Several state lawmakers and community members are demanding answers after reports that parents in Upper Sandusky are using neo-Nazi approved curriculum for home schooling.
“Nazi home schooling is very surprising and shocking,” said state Rep. Casey Weinstein, (D) District 34. “I think we need answers as to what gaps allowed this to happen.”
An online news article claims an Upper Sandusky couple is running a messaging app group connecting other parents in Nazi-based home schooling. The couple go by the online name the Saxtons.
Reports state the couple is using the Dissident Homeschool channel on Telegram to disseminate the material.
“We call on the State of Ohio to join Interim State Superintendent Dr. Stephanie Siddens in conducting an immediate, thorough and transparent investigation into those accused, the neo-Nazi home schooling network they associate with, and the use of state funds and resources to proliferate anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, genocide and hate,” said Cynthia Peeples, founding director of Honesty for Ohio Education. “There must be full accountability of the persons involved, home schooling regulations, and the processes that enabled an Ohio family to use home schooling as an easy vehicle to espouse Nazi hate and white supremacist ideologies.”
State Rep. Riordan McClain, ( R ) District 87, which includes Upper Sandusky, released a statement saying he was “unaware” of the information that was reported in the online article. He says he will “continue to investigate its validity.”
“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’s statement reads, in part. “I condemn the details described in this article regarding Nazi based teachings, any racial superiority based curriculum should be unthinkable. The article details a recent nationalized citizen from the Netherlands and her local husband who organized and international online community promoting racial hatred and ideals that we should all condemn.”
According to the Ohio Department of Education, families that choose to home-school must notify the student’s district of residence of their intent to home school the student.
The parents must provide 900 hours of instruction per year, notify the superintendent annually and provide an assessment of the student’s work.
It is not known if the parents submitted any documents to the superintendent of the Upper Sandusky Exempted Village School District. We requested any documents the parents submitted to the district, but the superintendent denied the request, saying it would violate federal privacy laws.
A spokesperson with the Ohio Department of Education said officials are aware of the reports on the Upper Sandusky Nazi-based home schooling and are “actively reviewing compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements.”
“I am outraged and saddened,” Dr, Stephanie K. Siddens, Interim Superintendent of Public Instruction for the Ohio Department of Education stated. “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, anti-Semitic and fascist ideology and materials being circulated as reported in recent media stories. Each day, educators, school leaders and family members work to make Ohio’s school communities, including our home school settings, places where students are encouraged, motivated and inspired through positive, inclusive and caring behavior.”