Wisconsin boys appears to give Nazi salute in photo; school district investigating

Lester Mason
November 14, 2018

After the photo surfaced on social media over the weekend, Baraboo School District Superintendent Lori Mueller tweeted that the photo "is not reflective" of the school district's values.

In the image, about 50 students from Baraboo High School in Baraboo, Wisconsin, dressed in suits, are seen smiling with their right arms extended straight in the air, reminiscent of the infamous "Sieg Heil" salute.

One of the boys in the picture made an OK sign with his thumb and forefinger, a gesture that has been adopted by white power groups.

Jordan Blue, one of the students in the photo who is abstaining from giving the anti-Semitic salute, spoke to Suzdaltsev concerning the photo. She said it was not taken on school property or at a school-sponsored event. "And I'm pretty sure my classmates just interpreted as raise your hand, let's do this as a joke", Blue said, adding that he thinks the others knew what the symbol represented.

"Morgan Springer graduated from Baraboo High School in 2018 and said she was there when the photo was taken".

In a second tweet, the account quoted Auschwitz survivor Roman Kent, who said, "We must all teach our children #tolerance and #understanding, both - at home and in school".

"It was very upsetting to me", he said.

Gust's website had the photo displayed until controversy erupted this week.

"It is too bad that there are those in society who can and do take the time to be jerks; knowingly and willingly to be jerks!" the post on the the company's website read. "The internet can be a wonderful tool but for some there is an overwhelming urge to destroy", the site now says.

The Baraboo school district was investigating the photo Monday after it began making the rounds on social media. Gust has since removed the photo and apologized to all who were hurt by it.

"The Baraboo School District is a hate-free environment where all people, regardless of race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin or ancestry, are respected and celebrated", Mueller said in a statement.

Baraboo High School was placed in a "soft hold" on Monday, which prevented students from leaving school premises to take an off-campus lunch.

The Auschwitz Memorial tweeted that the photo represents "why every single day we work hard to educate".

Wisconsin's Democratic Gov. -elect Tony Evers also reacted to the photo, saying it has "no place in Wisconsin". I truly & firmly believe we need to make a change to this terrible act, it needs to stop.

"Intolerance and bigotry must never be tolerated, in our schools or anywhere else", the governor elect said, noting that he will be in touch with school officials.

"Auschwitz with its gas chambers was at the very end of the long process of normalising and accommodating hatred".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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