A short video has surfaced showing ten students on the Pacifica High School Water Polo team singing a Nazi song and making the ‘Heil Hitler’ salute.
The video, which was exposed by The Daily Beast on August 19 but was originally recorded in November 2018, shows a group of young men saluting to one of the young men in front. It also shows them singing a song that, according to the publication, used to be sang by marching Nazi soldiers during World War II.
School officials told The Daily Beast that they were made aware of the video last March, though it’s not clear if any of those boys received disciplinary measures for their anti-semitic actions.
Here’s what you need to know:
WATCH: Water Polo Team Members Make Nazi Salute
According to KTLA, the song in the video above was written by the German composer Herms Niel during Hitler’s ascent to power. Per the California news station, the video was taken during an awards ceremony of sorts; it’s unclear if the coaches were in the room.
Pacifica High School is a part of the Garden Grove Unified School District. The District offered up a statement on Monday, per The Los Angeles Times:
“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.”
Already, many are condemning the boys’ actions, as well as the apparent inaction of the school in punishing those boys.
One Twitter user wrote, “Devastating video. As an employee of the district, I hope all parties involved were dealt with accordingly.”
A full press release from the District in concert with Pacifica High School is available here.
The release reads in part,
“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.”
To The Los Angeles Times, Brian Levin, the Director of Cal State San Bernadino’s Center on Hate and Extremism, explained why it’s so important for the school to act on this behavior.
“When we have a fragmented society with an increasingly coarse and manipulative social media with a dose of ignorance and white nationalism, this is what’s regarded as OK,” he said. “That’s why the school has to address this. It’s a representation of their institution.”
Levin went on to say the video was “chilling,” and that it was a “vile expression of Nazi bigotry.”