FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Coalition for Responsible Home Education (CRHE), the nation’s leading homeschooled children’s rights nonprofit, condemns the actions of the Dissident Homeschool community and warns the public that the group’s actions were possible because of inadequate homeschool laws nationwide.
“The hateful, violent, and bigoted ideologies forced upon innocent children by the Dissident Homeschool group have no place in the homeschooling community. Their efforts do a massive disservice to their children, their community, and our nation,” said CRHE executive director Angela Grimberg. “We condemn their beliefs and actions in the strongest possible terms.”
Led by parents in Ohio, the recently uncovered community of nearly 2,500 online participants develops and shares “Nazi-approved material” to be given to homeschooled children. Assignments distributed by the group label Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee a “grand role model for young, white men” and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “the antithesis of our civilization and our people.”
Like many states, Ohio homeschool law contains loopholes and inadequacies that are easily exploited by parents with bad intentions. For this reason, said CRHE board chair Carmen Longoria-Green, the Dissident Group – horrific as its stated intentions are – is likely in compliance with the minimal requirements of state law. “In the 1980s and 1990s, the Home School Legal Defense Association bullied legislators across the country into removing protections that would have ensured homeschooled children would receive a quality education in a safe home,” said Longoria-Green. “Today, children in Ohio and in every other state suffer the consequences of HSLDA’s destructive lobbying.”
“At CRHE, we want to create a culture change in homeschooling. We envision a world in which parents homeschool to promote their child’s overall well-being instead of their own personal agendas,” said CRHE research director Dr. Chelsea McCracken. “In an environment like the Dissident Homeschool group, a neo-Nazi ideology is the only one that the homeschooled children might be learning. Their parents can easily deny them the chance to hear a different viewpoint or to access the tools to form their own beliefs. That kind of homeschooling is a violation of children’s rights – their rights to self-expression, freedom of conscience, and to an education that prepares them for an open future, which includes understanding how to respect people from other cultures and backgrounds.”
“Children have the right to the information they need to form their own beliefs and identities apart from their parents’,” said Grimberg. “In CRHE’s Bill of Rights for Homeschooled Children, we affirm the importance of this right and many others.” The Bill of Rights, an aspirational vision for the homeschooling movement based on the U.N.’s Convention on the Rights of the Child, was published in 2021.
“Homeschooled children deserve a high-quality education that gives them a chance at a bright, open future and prepares them to thrive in a changing, diverse world,” said Grimberg. “We urge lawmakers to instead develop policies to promote positive outcomes for every homeschooled child.”