North America

US high school students caught on camera giving Nazi salute in 'offensive' video

The student's high school condemned the video, but would not disclose whether the teenagers had been disciplined.

A US high school has been forced to condemn a video appearing to show it's students giving the Nazi salute and singing Nazi marching songs during a sports banquet after it was revealed by the media.

The since-deleted video, recorded and shared with a group of people on SnapChat in November 2018, reportedly showed a number of students from California's Pacifica High School singing with straight arms raised above their heads, in the "Sieg Heil" style Nazi salute. 

In a statement released on Monday, Pacifica High School "strongly condemned" the "offensive" video but would not disclose whether the students involved had been disciplined.

The incident occurred in an "after hours, off-campus" athletics banquet, the statement read, which was unsupervised at the time.

"It was not brought to the attention of the administration of Pacifica High School until March of 2019, four months following the banquet, at which time school administrators took immediate action and addressed the situation with all students and families involved," the statement read. 

"Federal law ... prohibits the district from disclosing details of student discipline."

Photos of a swastika made out of red cups was circulated in March this year.
Photos of a swastika made out of red cups was circulated in March this year.
Twitter

It's not the first time photos of American high school students participating in Nazi gestures have been widely circulated online.

Earlier this year, images of a high school party in California made headlines because they appeared to show a number of teenagers making the salute and forming swastika made out of red cups. A similar scandal had erupted months earlier in 2018, when a photo showing dozens of Wisconsin high school students at their Junior Prom making the Nazi salute was circulated online.

In the second case, the school's superintendent said the students would not be punished for their actions because of their First Amendment rights.

A school district in Wisconsin said the First Amendment prevented it from punishing students in this picture.
A school district in Wisconsin said the First Amendment prevented it from punishing students in this picture.
Associated Press

"As previously stated, we cannot know the intentions in the hearts of those who were involved," Lori Mueller of the Baraboo School District, said in a letter.

The school district that encompasses Pacifica High School said it had since reached out to community organisations for support and would continue to "ensure an anti-bias learning environment and address issues of hate, bias, and exclusion".

"Garden Grove Unified School District actively combats bias and bullying, remains focused on fostering an inclusive environment for all stakeholders and is committed to holding students accountable, educating them on the consequences of their choices and the impact these actions have on our schools and community at large."

 

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch