California School Reopens a Witch Hunt of a “Nazi Salute” Video, Saying other Images have Emerged
A Southern California school district is reopening an investigation into video showing students giving a National Socialist salute, with one official saying unspecified new photos and video have emerged.
The Garden Grove school district in Orange County announced the new probe Tuesday night just before a tense school board meeting in a community angry after learning high school officials knew about the salute video months before it became public this week.
Pacifica High School Principal Steve Osborne forced to apologize at the meeting for not informing the community earlier -- and said officials have gotten "new allegations, new photos and video ... and new claims that have led us to reopen and widen the scope of the investigation."
School officials haven't characterized the new allegations or material.
At issue, to start with, is a November video appearing to show Pacifica High School students raising their arms in a National Socialist salute, and at least one of the students singing a National Socialist-era marching song.
The eight-second video was recorded before an off-campus student athletics banquet, in a room where the students were unsupervised, the Garden Grove Unified School District said.
After a small group of students shared it on social media, high school administrators learned of it in March and "addressed the situation with all students and families involved," the district said in a statement.
But even district-level officials, they say, didn't know of the video until this week, when the The Daily Beast published it.
The revelation roiled teachers and residents who say they should have been told long ago -- and it has the district scrambling to promise it will investigate further and "battle any hate and bias in the schools".
"Rest assured that any students engaging in hate speech or activities will face disciplinary action in accordance with California Education Code," the district said in a news release Tuesday.
"We deeply apologize for the pain this has cause our community and the national community at large."
The school hasn't said how the students in the November salute video were disciplined, citing federal law that protects student records.