A school district in Southern California condemned a video of high-schoolers giving Nazi salutes and singing a Nazi song after it became public Monday.
The video, obtained by the Daily Beast — which posted about 8 seconds of it — shows members of the boys’ water polo team at Pacifica High School in Garden Grove in an empty room that administrative officials say was later used for an athletic banquet.
The song, written by German composer Herms Niel during the rise of Hitler, 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.
“I think this is indicative of a change where even some obscure Nazi rhetoric … has now been mainstreamed on a very fragmented internet,” said Brian Levin, the director for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.
Levin called it “troubling,” and said these incidents are becoming more common as anti-Semitism rises online especially in “darker corners of the internet.”
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.