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California High Schoolers Accused Of Anti-Semitism Over Swastika Cup Arrangement And Nazi Salutes

CBS Los Angeles/YouTube

Orange County police and school administration officials have looked into reports of anti-Semitism after social media posts went viral.

The images depicted students at a party stacking their plastic cups in the shape of a swastika and giving a Nazi salute.

The party took place off campus, but several students at the party attend Newport Harbor High School. Because of this, the community has asked the school to do something about the behavior.

The district told NPR,

“While these actions did not occur on any school campus or school function, we condemn all acts of anti-Semitism and hate in all their forms.”

People are trying to find out as much as they can about this incident.

The images show the party toasting over the swastika symbol on the table, with some of the Snapchats saying “German engeneraing [sic]” and “German rage cage.”

The teens also held their hands straight out in a Nazi salute for another photo.

Charlene Metoyer, the school district’s president, told 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.”

This is most certainly not a joke.

CBS Los Angeles has reported that the students have been identified and suspended. They attended three different schools in the Newport Beach and Costa Mesa area.

The schools called together a meeting to discuss the issue with concerned parents. Over 500 people gathered at Newport Harbor high to express their anger.

Jewish students explained that they see swastikas carved into bathroom doors and have to ignore Jewish jokes. Other students explained that these kids knew exactly what they were doing.

Josdel Hernandez, a student at Newport Harbor, said they had just wrapped a lesson on the Holocaust,

“They showed us graphic videos of the concentration camps. It’s not like our teachers need to show us anymore about the Holocaust. They knew what it means.”

People online have been giving their two cents about the issue the last few days.

Incidents like this are a red flag for groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Anti-Defamation League. The ADL has reported anti-Semitic incidents on the rise, with incidents at K-12 schools surpassing incidents in public areas for the first time in 2017.

Keegan Hankes, a senior researcher at the SPLC, told NPR,

“It wasn’t that long ago that we were having conversations about whether the [neo-Nazi] movement was going to age out. You would go to conferences and it would be an audience full of white men in their late 30s and up.

“Now, you go to the same conferences and they’re sold out and the average age has dropped by 20 years.”

Another meeting for the Orange County schools is scheduled on Thursday, March 7th at Corona del Mar High School this time. The district is trying its best to include the community in the education process and allow voices to be heard who’ve been affected by these actions.

While the students have been suspended, the school and police are still considering other options to discipline them.

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Written by Ben Acosta

Ben Acosta is an Arizona-based fiction author and freelance writer. In his free time, he critiques media and acts in local stage productions.