A group of students from a Newport Beach high school photographed themselves giving the Nazi salute alongside a swastika formed with cups.
The March 2 photo went viral on social media:
Heartbreaking. Teens from Newport Harbor High School in Newport Beach, CA giving Nazi Salute during drinking game with cups arranged in the shape of a Swastika. #heartbreaking #teachlove #neverforget #noroomforhate #kabc #knbc #kcbs #ktla #latimes #kcal #cnn pic.twitter.com/srFmSKbmtU
— James Rogers (@jimr1967) March 3, 2019
The Los Angeles Times reports that photograph shows students or recent graduates of Newport Harbor High School at an off-campus party.
Newport-Mesa Unified School District President Charlene Metoyer told the Orange County Register she was “devastated” by the photo.
“As a school board, we’re not only concerned by the underage drinking, but also the mental health of the students who participated in this horrendous act and all their fellow students who will be affected by it,” Metoyer said. “This is appalling to not just our Jewish student community, but to all of us who care about human rights.”
She added that the school and the district are looking into potential disciplinary measures against the students in the photo.
A district spokesperson said in a statement, “While these actions did not occur on any school campus or school function, we condemn all acts of anti-Semitism and hate in all their forms. We continue to gather information regarding the conduct of these students and work with law enforcement.”
Simon Wiesenthal Center Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper told the Times that the students in the photo should be suspended.
“This is an insult to the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust,” Cooper said. “It’s also an insult to the many thousands of families in Southern California whose loved ones in the Greatest Generation fought, bled and died to defeat the Nazis and defeat the swastika.”
Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) also condemned the photo on Twitter as “a hateful, anti-Semitic symbol and call on parents and community leaders to redouble our efforts to educate young people about the history of violence against Jewish people worldwide. This has no place in Orange County.”
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted:
This is not the first time we've recently seen high school students giving Nazi salutes and using Nazi imagery. This further proves how important it is for us to pass legislation requiring #Holocaust education in schools. Our experts explain why: https://t.co/aqIfptbX9Q https://t.co/jqmgdQtTaA
— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) March 4, 2019