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A California school district is reopening an investigation into a video, featuring Pacifica High School students doing the Nazi salute and singing Nazi songs. More and more Nazi and racist videos are now emerging, featuring students of the same school.
On Monday, the Daily Beast published a video of the boys’ water polo team at a school awards ceremony. They were captured singing Nazi songs and doing the “Sieg Heil” salute–a gesture popularized by Hitler during World War II and has come to symbolize hate and anti-Semitism. The video, allegedly taken in 2018, was shared on Snapchat and Instagram. The boys were singing the song “Erika,” written by Nazi party member and composer Herms Niel during Hitler’s time in power. Pacifica High School students and teachers allege they were never made aware of the video.
In response to the video surfacing online, school officials released a statement, explaining that administrators became aware of the video months after it was initially shared. The officials claim they took “immediate action” to discipline the students involved, but details about what consequences the students faced were not publicized.
Now, other, similar videos have begun to surface, prompting widespread backlash and demands for a proper investigation. In the three new videos, students are seen doing Nazi salutes, singing chants, marching with the German flag and wearing a Confederate flag–all while allegedly on the school’s campus. Two of the new videos were allegedly recorded last year, while one was recorded three years ago.
Three new videos — potentially three more examples of #racism & #extremism at Pacifica High School in Orange County.— Veronica Miracle (@ABC7Veronica) August 21, 2019
These videos are now part of a bigger investigation at the school.
1st & 2nd vid from last school year.
3rd vid from 3 yrs ago but show current students.@ABC7 pic.twitter.com/ieOun4FyZl
The school’s principal, Steve Osborne, addressed the newly emerged videos, and its reopening of the investigation at a school board meeting on Tuesday, according to a local ABC news affiliate.
“We’ve recently received new allegations, new photos, and video, even within the past hour and new claims that have led us to re-open and widen the scope of the investigation,” Osborne said.
“We are sorry that our investigation and our transparency with the Pacifica community fell drastically short,” Osborne added. “In retrospect our judgment was wrong and we take full responsibility for that.”
District officials also released a new statement, referring to the incident as “unfortunate” and vowing to “ensure an anti-bias learning environment and address issues of hate, bias, and exclusion with all staff and students.”
It is still unclear whether or not the students will face any disciplinary action.
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Tiffanie Drayton is a geek culture and lifestyle reporter whose work covers everything from gender and race to anime and Xbox. Her work has appeared in Complex, Salon, Marie Claire, Playboy, and elsewhere.