A Valley Christian School teacher with suspected ties to a white supremacist group has been put on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation.
School officials confirmed Wednesday that they suspended 30-year-old instructor Kyle Scheuerlein after anti-fascist watchdogs published claims of his involvement with Identity Evropa, an organization widely denounced as a white nationalist hate group.
Valley Christian COO Rob Valiton said the private high school acted as soon as it heard of the accusations against Scheuerlein.
“Any membership of affiliation with a racist group of any kind is not only against our conduct standards, it is in conflict with our mission,” Valiton wrote in an email to San Jose Inside. “If proven true, these allegations are not acceptable and will not be tolerated. This matter will be thoroughly investigated and addressed accordingly.”
The claims against Scheuerlein stem from chats exchanged by Identity Evropa members that became public last month when nonprofit media collective Unicorn Riot leaked the entirety of the group’s so-called “Nice Respectable People” server. By culling those chat logs for information, the group has exposed suspected neo-Nazis in the U.S. military, various police agencies and schools throughout the country.
Scheuerlein—an Azusa Pacific University alumnus and aspiring web developer who has taught journalism, coding and study skills at Valley Christian since 2012—apparently joined Identity Evropa chats on a messaging app called Discord a year ago under the handle NuclearReactionary. In one chat exchange, he professed being a fan of neo-Nazi podcast Fash the Nation, calling it “amazing” and recommending it to others.
Scheuerlein has yet to respond to a request for comment.
Identity Evropa gained notoriety in 2017 for helping orchestrate the August 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, where members chanted, “Jews will not replace us!,” and where a white supremacist killed counter-protester Heather Heyer.
The organization, which advocates for a white ethno-state, has since tried to distance itself from its founder—Iraq war veteran, convicted felon and San Jose native Nathan Damigo—by rebranding under a new leader, Patrick Casey, as the more innocuous sounding American Identity Movement.
Casey has reportedly tried to clean up the group’s image to appeal to white college-aged conservatives through campus flyering, banner drops and reframing its mission as pro-white and “identitarian.” Yet the Discord leaks show that conversation among the 800 or so members participating in the chats routinely veered into anti-Semitic, racist, homophobic, ableist and other hateful rhetoric.