Water-Polo Team Members in California High School Give Nazi Salute, Sing Nazi Song
JNS.org – A group of 10 or so members of the boys’ water-polo team at Pacifica High School in Garden Grove, Calif., made a Nazi salute and sang a Nazi song last year during an awards ceremony, according to a video first obtained by The Daily Beast, which reported this development on Monday.
The video was taken in November 2018 and shared on Snapchat among a small group of students, according to the Garden Grove Unified School District, which, in a statement, said it and the high school “strongly condemn a video recorded last year of some students who engaged in offensive Nazi-related gestures.”
Pacifica High School didn’t know about the video until March, when “school administrators took immediate action and addressed the situation with all students and families involved,” said the district.
Citing the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the district didn’t specify how the students were disciplined.
“Pacifica High School, along with our other district schools, will be working with students, staff, and parents to continue to address these issues in the fall in collaboration with agencies dedicated to anti-bias education,” added the district.
Rabbi Peter Levi, director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Orange County chapter, criticized the school for allegedly not addressing with the community what transpired.
“Generally speaking, especially when something like this involves a group, we would think a more meaningful approach would be to use this as a learning opportunity, as an opportunity community-wide to state what our values are,” he said. “This requires investigation and conversation. … We’d like to see a more systematic response.”
The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust has invited the students from the awards ceremony to tour the museum and interact with Holocaust survivors. It also plans to invite those boys depicted in the video.
“I would definitely love to reach out to the principal of [Pacifica High School] and see if we can do the same thing we did with the Newport Harbor students,” the museum’s CEO, Beth Kean, told The Daily Beast. “Once you see those artifacts, you realize what these symbols like the German nationalist song really represent. That is really the best way to learn and make sure we can move forward and prevent these types of incidents from happening.”
This is the second such incident in southern California over the past year. In March, students from Newport Harbor High School saluted alongside a table with cups configured as a swastika. Images from the party were shared on social media.