News about an Ohio-based neo-Nazi homeschooling network stirred shockwaves all over the country, but those who knew its co-founder aren't a bit surprised.
Logan Lawrence and his wife were unmasked last week as the co-founders of the Dissident Homeschool, a Telegram app with thousands of members that shares classroom resources drawing on Adolf Hitler quotes, antisemitic themes and white supremacist ideologies.
Vice News, which first reported about the network, has now found former classmates of Lawrence aren't a bit surprised.
“Logan has always been an assh*le and the people who know him aren’t shocked,” said one person who attended his wedding.
That same woman confirmed that Lawrence was frequently photographed wearing blackface and other racist costumes to bars and parties, and classmates recalled him giving a mocking presentation of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech over the middle school intercom.
“Teachers allowed him to get on the intercom and basically do an entire MLK-type speech [of I Have a Dream] and it was in a very mocking manner," said former classmate Kortney Lange, and another also corroborated her account. “Looking back on it now there were some red flags [about Logan], but realistically, I mean everybody in town has a red flag."
Lange posted a TikTok video about the 36-year-old Lawrence, who grew up in Upper Sandusky and until recently worked for his family's insurance company, and she said many residents demanded she remove the post.
“While there has been a strong response outside of Upper, the community has had minimal reactions,” said one resident who asked for anonymity. “The response from city officials has been extremely limited with many acting indifferent to things. However, the same day the news [about the Nazi homeschool group] came out, there was a flurry of postings on Facebook warning about an African American man going door to door selling vacuums. Priorities, I suppose.”
Lawrence was an unmotivated student until he encountered a lesson on World War II, Lange said, and he eventually went on to Ohio State and studied history, political science and German.
There was a history class that we had together and there was a lesson on the topic of World War II,” Lange said. “He didn’t really put a lot of thought towards much [in school], but he was really into that lesson.”