Katja Lawrence founded Dissident Homeschool, a neo-Nazi homeschooling network, along with her husband. (Photos from Anonymous Comrades Collective)
The racist, antisemitic, and homophobic Ohio mother who co-founded and operates a neo-Nazi homeschool network with thousands of members also helped design websites for the local Sheriff’s Office and a prosecutor’s office. Most recently, she worked at a law firm that specializes in protecting LGBTQ clients.
Katja Lawrence was unmasked earlier this week along with her husband Logan Lawrence as the co-founders of the “Dissident Homeschool” group, an online network of like-minded parents who are indoctrinating their children with Nazi ideology that is based in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. The Ohio Department of Education confirmed earlier this week to VICE News that it is investigating the case.
Lawrence was born in the Netherlands where she obtained a law degree. She moved to the U.S. after meeting her husband at a beer festival in Munich.
Once in the U.S., she worked a number of different jobs including as a website designer. “My name is Katja Lawrence, and I make the internet look pretty,” Lawrence said on her now-deleted website, according to an archive of the site reviewed by VICE News.
In the portfolio section of her website, she listed websites she worked on for six different clients that she worked on, all of which are in Upper Sandusky or the surrounding areas.
One of those websites belongs to the Wyandot County Sheriff’s Office, which is the county where the Lawrences’ live.
“We, like all decent people, are disgusted and appalled that outliers in our community are teaching hatred and contempt to the most vulnerable among us, our children,” Todd Frey, Wyandot County Sheriff, wrote in a statement posted on Facebook on Tuesday. The statement did not make direct reference to the Lawrences or the “Dissident Homeschool” network, but Frey admitted in the statement that ”some of those involved may have worked with or for a company that designed the Sheriff’s Office website approximately nine years ago.”
Please send tips about the Lawrences or the neo-Nazi homeschool network to David Gilbert at email@example.com. For Signal, DM @Daithaigilbert on Twitter.
On Wednesday morning, Frey confirmed to VICE News that the person in question was Katja Lawrence and that she had worked for a company employed by the Sheriff’s Office to design its website between 2012 and 2014.
“[Katja Lawrence] was never an employee of the Wyandot County Sheriff’s Office,” Frey told VICE News. “They were an employee of the company that developed our website.”
The Sheriff did not name the company Lawrence worked with at the time, but her LinkedIn profile says she has worked with an Upper Sandusky-based software company called MFCD since 2012. David Grafmiller, who has worked at the company for three decades, confirmed to VICE News that Lawrence had worked with his company between 2012 and 2014. He said that “just like everyone else” he was surprised by the revelations this week.
Katja Lawrence also designed a number of other government websites, according to the portfolio she maintained on her site. Those sites included the Hardin County Prosecutor and Hardin Courthouse website in neighboring Hardin County. She also designed the website for her family’s insurance agency which is based in Upper Sandusky. An employee of Lawrence Insurance declined to comment to VICE News when reached on the phone.
Another website she lists on her portfolio is Shotzy’s Bar and Grill, a restaurant in Upper Sandusky.
“Katja was an independent web designer that we hired to help with our website 8-10 years ago,” a spokesperson for the restaurant told VICE News. “She was never in our direct employ, and we firmly oppose the beliefs [espoused in the Dissident Homeschool channel].”
Lawrence also listed the Upper Sandusky-based Ithaca Gun Company as a client. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Most recently, Lawrence claims to have worked with the Obenour Legal Group which has offices in upper Sandusky and Columbus. According to her LinkedIn profile, Lawrence lists her position with the group as “office manager and bookkeeper.”
The law firm lists among its specialities on its website “LGBT Law,” including topics such as adoption, divorce, and estate planning. The Obenour Legal Group did not respond to repeated requests for comment from VICE News.
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