Wisconsin high school students under fire for taking picture giving Nazi Salute

Classroom theGrio.com
(Photo: Fotolia/smolaw11)

A picture by a group of white high school boys giving a Nazi salute on the steps of a county courthouse in Central Wisconsin has drawn condemnation from Jewish groups, their school and an investigation from law enforcement.

A photo taken last spring shows a group of about 50 male seniors from Baraboo High School, which is about 60 miles north of Madison, striking the Nazi pose on the Sauk County Courthouse steps. The photo quickly spread on twitter Sunday night and Monday morning with the hashtag #barabooproud, the hashtag often used to promote its activities and athletics programs.

It quickly raised the ire of thousands on social media

Baraboo School District Administrator Lori Mueller addressed the controversy on twitter and said school officials were investigating.

This reportedly isn’t the first time the school has gotten in hot water for racist imagery or that students have been implicated in the use of racially controversial symbols.

In 2012, according to the Baraboo News Republic, A group of students drove their trucks around the city while waving Confederate flags to honor a friend who was killed in a car crash.

At the time of the incident, Baraboo High School Principal Bill Loss said, before getting the flags taken down, that he viewed the Confederate flags as wearing a swastika in front of Jewish people.

Six year later, the picture of the students making the Nazi salute caught the attention of the Auschwitz Memorial Museum

“This is why every single day we work hard to educate,” the museum tweeted. “We need to explain what is the danger of hateful ideology rising. Auschwitz with its gas chambers was at the very end of the long process of normalizing and accommodating hatred.”

The local Wisconsin school district says it’s considering taking legal action against some of the students.

“The photo of students posted to #BarabooProud is not reflective of the educational values and beliefs of the School District of Baraboo,” Superintendent Lori Mueller said. “The District will pursue any and all available and appropriate actions, including legal, to address.”

The Baraboo Police Department said Monday it was “aware of a controversial photo of a group of high school students that has been posted to social media.

“Officers are assisting the Baraboo School District with their investigation into this matter,” it said on Facebook.