A brief video posted on a news website allegedly showing area high school students in a short neo-Nazi incident has put a local school district in a national spotlight.
On Monday, the Daily Beast posted an article and an eight-second video clip under the headline “Students Sang Nazi Song and Gave Hitler Salute.”
The article and images originated from a sports banquet held in November 2018 for students from a boys’ athletic team from Pacifica High School. It’s reported that, after the banquet, some students went – unsupervised – into another room and sang what’s been described as a “Nazi marching song.” Some of the pupils raised their right arms in a gesture similar to the salute given by National Socialists in Germany during the Hitler era.
According to news reports, the video was first posted online, and then taken down.
Here’s the statement issued by 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.”