COLUMBUS, Ohio — Does there need to be more oversight of homeschooling in Ohio?
That's the question tonight after published reports of an online neo-Nazi homeschool surfaced over the weekend.
Everyone 10TV spoke to about this Monday, from the governor’s office to the Ohio Department of Education, has condemned the curriculum this homeschool claims to use.
Some have said it is vile, outrageous, and deeply upsetting. All agree there is no place for this type of hate.
Telegram is the messaging app used for what is called the "Dissident-Homeschool Channel." It has more than 2,600 subscribers.
Posts are published by users who go by Mr. and Mrs. Saxon. People by those names have been interviewed on an anti-Semitic podcast.
In one episode the couple says they were, "having a rough time finding Nazi-approved school material" for their home-schooled children.
We have not been able to independently confirm that the couple is here in Ohio, as both the Huffington Post and Vice have reported.
We can confirm there is content on the channel regarding Ohio's proposed laws for homeschooling.
The Department of Education confirmed Monday morning it is aware of the articles about this. In Ohio law, ODE does not review or approve home school curriculum.
Now there's a call to action from those who say that needs to change.
“We need to really take a review on what's going on in our public policy and take this very seriously,” said Ohio Board of Education Member Teresa Fedor. “I'm calling on the governor the day before he's giving his State of the State speech. Well, this is the state of the state that he needs to realize Ohio is in. And if you don't say something against this, then your silence is sanctioning this activity.”
In a statement to 10TV, the press secretary for Governor Mike DeWine wrote, “Racism and Antisemitism are vile and repugnant. Governor DeWine condemns them in all their forms.”
Dr. Stephanie K. Siddens, Interim Superintendent of Public Instruction, provided the following statement:
“I am outraged and saddened. 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.
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.”
Senate Democrats in Ohio have denounced the online homeschool and are calling for stronger oversight of home schooling.
We also reached out to Senate Republicans today about this and are waiting on a response.
ODE said it is actively reviewing compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements.