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High schoolers give Hitler salute during Nazi-themed drinking game, sparking outrage
Leaked group messages reveal antisemitic messages and jokes.
California’s Newport Beach High School and Costa Mesa High School are the latest schools with a Nazi problem. A series of viral photos from this past weekend shows students gathered around a table giving Hitler salutes to a “German rage cage,” a drinking game that featured a swastika made from red solo cups.
Images from the students’ party went viral after YouTuber Ava Rose turned to Twitter, posting multiple Snapchat images over the weekend depicting high schoolers building and saluting the swastika solo cups. The thread’s main post has over 9,900 retweets and 26,000 likes, and subsequent replies show Snapchat users joking about “German engeneraing [sic]” and building a “German rage cage.”
Two photos also depict Snapchat messages from students seemingly associated with or condoning the party. One user says “this shit I respect,” continuing “Those are my boys / Fuck Jews / Such pieces of shits.” A second post features a Snapchat group called “master race,” where a user jokes about Jewish victims dying in the Holocaust.
“Phones gonna die / Just like the jews,” that user posted, according to Rose’s thread.
An Instagram user who attended the party even wrote a fake apology, only to claim “last night was awesome” and “I have absolutely no sympathy for anyone offended by this.”
“I’m a Jew and was there with some of my closest friends and we played a sick ass game of rage cage,” the poster wrote. “All the motherfuckers tryna censor this shit are nazis if anything. Quit tryna gather up soft boy points and piss of [sic] pusssyyyyysssss [sic].”
The Daily Dot reached out to Rose for comment.
Scrolling through Snapchat and see this from a Newport high school party. Absolutely disgusting. pic.twitter.com/PLuFS0s9Lp— Ava (@itsavarose_) March 3, 2019
I’m horrified pic.twitter.com/JnPqDZAcVs— Ava (@itsavarose_) March 3, 2019
PLEASE READ THIS... I can’t believe this is real. pic.twitter.com/OP9mwYl9V1— Ava (@itsavarose_) March 3, 2019
Their groupchat pic.twitter.com/9aydLRvZjJ— Ava (@itsavarose_) March 4, 2019
Rose’s post quickly went viral, and the condemnations were swift. Many were angry, upset, and glad that someone was speaking out about the situation.
sounds about white— milly rock to death (@angelaa_to) March 3, 2019
Holocaust studies are essential for all schools. The disrespect & misinformation is apparent across the nation.— Ryan Deitsch (@Ryan_Deitsch) March 3, 2019
someone tell their parents to cancel the trust funds— elena (@elenawats) March 3, 2019
not gonna go off but there has been so many things that have happened at NHHS that have been brushed off and instead of consequences being enforced we get an beauty guru apology from the school and people who fucked up.— DENISE SOLIS (@denisesolis_) March 3, 2019
Just some wealthy OC white kids putting their privilege to good use. See, this is why we need to get rid of inheritance tax because we can rest assured these "very fine people" will choose to do the right thing for community & society w their advantages.— Yakov Petrovich G. (@YakovPetrovichG) March 4, 2019
the thing about this is it’s not people who actually hate jews, it’s people who are there and think it’s cool to be a part of somthing that’s against the norm and that’s not okay. stand for somthing you actually care about, those are people who only are doing this cont.— sean (@delongingforyou) March 4, 2019
As a German I feel horrified and disgusting! Most of us trying everything that something like this never happened again. And this people thing it is funny or cool?! Where is youre education? Don't you no the history?— Nojiko (@puella_luna) March 3, 2019
The Newport-Mesa Unified School District is reportedly working with police to investigate the situation, and the district’s president has condemned the party’s antisemitic events and underage drinking, according to the Washington Post.
“We have a concern both for the physical health of students who are underage drinking as well as the mental health of our students or their friends that thought this was an OK thing to do,” Newport-Mesa Unified School District President Charlene Metoyer said, according to CBS Los Angeles. “More should’ve been done to make sure the students recognize the severity of the symbols they were using. It is not something funny. It’s a very, very serious situation.”
The Anti-Defamation League’s Orange County chapter, meanwhile, penned a tweet condemning the photos, noting “Swastikas and Nazi salutes are never funny.”
“When such actions are considered jokes, hate and bigotry become normalized,” the ADL chapter tweeted. “And then we open the door for escalating acts of bias, bigotry & bullying. ADL takes this very seriously. #noplaceforhate”
Swastikas & Nazi salutes are never funny. When such actions are considered jokes, hate and bigotry become normalized. And then we open the door for escalating acts of bias, bigotry & bullying. ADL takes this very seriously. #noplaceforhate pic.twitter.com/WI7pnsrdCX— ADL Orange County (@ADLOrangeCounty) March 3, 2019
This isn’t the first time high school students have gone viral for celebrating Nazi imagery—and it probably won’t be the last. One Wisconsin high school’s junior class was universally condemned after an image surfaced showing students posing for a photo with Nazi salutes, and a Minnesota student was harshly criticized for penning a Nazi-themed school dance invitation. Clearly, American teens need a lot more education on Nazi Germany’s atrocities.
Ana Valens is a reporter specializing in online queer communities, marginalized identities, and adult content creation. She is Daily Dot's Trans/Sex columnist. Her work has appeared at Vice, Vox, Truthout, Bitch Media, Kill Screen, Rolling Stone, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and spends her free time developing queer adult games.