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School Disciplines Students Who Performed Nazi Salute, But Won’t Reveal How

After a video surfaced of California students performing a Nazi salute and cheer, the school system condemned the incident, yet refused to confirm how its students were disciplined, the Washington Post reported.

On Monday, The Daily Beast published a video of the boys water polo team at Pacifica High School in Garden Grove in which members are seen giving a “Sieg Heil” salute during an awards ceremony and singing a Nazi song. The video was reportedly taken last year.

When administrators learned of the video in March 2019, four months after the ceremony, they “took immediate action and addressed the situation with all students and families involved,” the school said. However, the district did not notify the wider school community about the incident. Abby Broyles, public information officer for the school district, wrote in an email that “federal law prohibits school officials from disclosing details of student discipline” and that “schools are not in the practice of sharing with the entire school community all disciplinary actions unless those incidents have impacted the school community.”

Rabbi Peter Levi, director of the Anti-Defamation League Chapter in Orange County, criticized the lack of transparency on the part of the school system.

“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.”

Just earlier this year, photos of California high school students playing a drinking game with cups arranged in a swastika and performing Nazi salutes sparked outrage. A report issued last month by the California Department of Justice found that anti-semitic incidents rose by 21 percent in 2018.

Alexandra Wells is a news intern at the Forward. Contact her at [email protected]

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