A group of California high school students give a Nazi salute and sing a Nazi march song in a video posted to social media in November 2018 which has just recently come to light. The students, members of the Pacifica High School water polo team, were at an awards ceremony, according to media reports.
The Daily Beast reports that the school became aware of the video in March but won’t say how the students were disciplined: “One parent of a student at Pacifica, who requested anonymity out of fear of retaliation from school officials, told The Daily Beast they were concerned educators never addressed the wider community about the video, especially since it had circulated among students. A current student likewise said the incident was never spoken about by the administration and was not sure whether the students involved were suspended.”
The song “was written by German composer Herms Niel during the rise of Hitler, and was played to inspire Nazi troops serving in Germany’s armed forces from 1935 until 1945” and is “so obscure it raises questions about how the athletes learned about it” according to Chapman University professor Peter Simi, an expert on extremism.
The Garden Grove Unified School District released a statement: “Garden Grove Unified School District and Pacifica High School strongly condemn a video recorded last year of some students who engaged in offensive Nazi-related gestures. The video was filmed in November 2018 prior to the start of an after school hours, off-campus student athletics banquet in an empty and unsupervised room at the facility. The video was shared within a small group of students on SnapChat. 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. Federal law (Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act) prohibits the district from disclosing details of student discipline. “