A group of high school students have been condemned after a video emerged of them giving Nazi salutes.
Members of the boys’ water polo team at Pacifica High School in Garden Grove, California, were filmed as they performed the salute and sang a song written by German composer Herms Niel during the rise of Hitler.
The song was played to inspire Nazi troops during World War II.
The Garden Grove Unified School District said in a statement that the footage was recorded last November but that administrators hadn’t become aware of the video until March.
It said the students were unsupervised at the time. The district said Monday that administrators had ‘addressed the situation with all students and families involved,’ but failed to specify what disciplinary actions it took.
Director for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University Brian Levin said: ‘I think this is indicative of a change where even some obscure Nazi rhetoric … has now been mainstreamed on a very fragmented internet.’
Levin called it ‘troubling,’ and said these incidents are becoming more common as anti-Semitism rises online especially in ‘darker corners of the internet.’
Talking about the song, Professor Peter Simi told the Daily Beast which discovered the footage: ‘It’s not something you’d expect somebody to accidentally know about.
‘Are they on websites or web forums or other social media platforms where they’re engaging with others informed on these issues?’
This is the second time a high school in Orange County has dealt with its students engaged in Nazi portrayals.
Students from schools in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District faced suspension in an unrelated incident in March after photos emerged of them playing beer pong with cups set up in swastika formation.