GARDEN GROVE (CBSLA) – A video posted to social media last year showing a group of students from Pacifica High School in Garden Grove doing a Nazi salute came to light Monday, yet the latest in a string of similar incidents involving Orange County teens.
The video, which was shot in November 2018, was taken during an off-campus student athletics banquet, the Garden Grove Unified School District confirmed in a statement to CBS2 Monday.
The eight-second video, first obtained by the Daily Beast, appears to show a group of about 10 Pacific High students doing a Nazi salute and engaging in a German chant. The students were all part of the Pacifica High water polo team, the Daily Beast reported.
It was posted to Snapchat, but did not come to the attention of the district until March of this year, Garden Grove Unified said.
The district would not disclose if or how the students involved were disciplined, citing federal education privacy laws.
This comes after a controversial photo surfaced on social media March 3 showing students at an off-campus party saluting like Nazis around red plastic cups arranged to form a swastika during a game of beer pong. The party was attended by a few dozen teenagers from Newport Harbor, Costa Mesa and Estancia High schools.
The photo touched off a firestorm of criticism and prompted several community meetings. Newport Harbor High even brought in Holocaust survivor Eva Schloss, the stepsister of Anne Frank, to meet with some of the students involved.
Here is the full statement from the Garden Grove Unified School District:
“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.
“In response to this unfortunate incident, district and school administrators have reached out to community organizations to provide support that will continue to ensure an anti-bias learning environment and address issues of hate, bias, and exclusion with all staff and students. 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.
“A highly diverse district, 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. In 2017, the district passed Resolution 20, an ongoing commitment to safe and welcoming schools, and in the new school year the district will be launching a campaign for student, staff, and community wellness. As a part of the “Choose Wellness” campaign, students, staff, and parents from across the district will come together to address issues of well-being and a welcoming climate, including addressing bullying, hate speech/actions, and our role in building inclusive communities which reflect equity and respect for all.”