UPPER SANDUSKY, Ohio (WTVG) – The leader of Ohio House Democrats is calling for policy reform on home schooling after a report from the Huffington Post unveiled an Ohio couple runs a social media channel dedicated to helping parents radicalize their children with “nazi-approved material.”
According to the report, a couple from Upper Sandusky runs a channel on Telegram with lesson plans and assignments for home-schooled children that spews anti-Semitic content in such a way as to make sure it’s still in compliance with the law so Ohio officials can’t interfere.
“We are so deeply invested into making sure that that child becomes a wonderful Nazi,” the alleged Upper Sandusky resident told a podcast host, Huffpost reports. “And by home-schooling, we’re going to get that done.”
Ohio House Minority Leader Allison Russo called Ohio’s current law “hugely problematic” when it allows what she calls bad actors like the Upper Sandusky couple to shape Ohio’s youth.
“This is what the indoctrination of children looks like, and it’s terrifying,” Russo said in a tweet. “Yet, I doubt we’ll see mobile billboards parked in front of the Ohio Statehouse demanding accountability for the absurdly weak homeschooling laws that allow a pro-Nazi curriculum. And, to be clear, there are many home-school families who I’ve known over the years (esp. many military families) who provide a great and enriching education for their kids. But, Ohio’s current law is hugely problematic when it allows bad actors like this to continue.”
In response to the story, Ohio Board of Education Member and former Ohio House Representative from Toledo Teresa Fedor called on Gov. DeWine to denounce the efforts on nazi-friendly home-school curriculum during his State of the State address Tuesday.
“Silence regarding hate, is complicity for hate,” Fedor said in a statement. ” The recent report that a group of home school Ohio parents who told a recent Nazi podcast that they were creating a curriculum for ‘Nazi-approved home school material’ should alarm all Ohioans. At a time when extreme politics in Ohio are pushing for ideological interference in the education curriculum we face a moral crossroads. As elected officials, the Governor and all Ohio Elected Officials, must all stand up and do everything we can to make sure that never again we will stand silent in the face of hate. January 27 was International Holocaust Rememberance Day – but everyday we must make sure we stand up to hate and make sure no public dollars go toward such horrific Nazi curriculum.”
A statement from the Interim Superintendent of Public Instruction, Stephanie Siddens, said that she is outraged and saddened by the report and that the department is “actively reviewing compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements.”
“There is absolutely no place for hate-filled, divisive and hurtful instruction in Ohio’s schools, including our state’s home-schooling community,” Siddens said in a statement. “I emphatically and categorically denounce the racist, antisemitic 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.”
The department said the Ohio Department of Education does not review or approve home school curriculum per Ohio law. Parents who home school agree to give students 900 hours of instruction per year, notify the superintendent every year, and give an assessment of the student’s work.
The Upper Sandusky Exempted Village Schools Superintendent, Eric Landversicht, released a statement Monday calling the allegations of the couple’s work creating the extremist social media channel “egregious” and condemned the resources. Read the statement in full below.
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