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Outrage after California high school students salute Hitler and make swastika out of beer cups

Outrage after California high school students salute Hitler and make swastika out of beer cups
Two Newport Beach high schools are making headlines after images appeared of an off-campus party during which students arranged red plastic cups into the shape of a swastika and saluted Hitler.

The group of white students from Newport Harbor High School and Costa Mesa High School posted pictures of themselves on Snapchat doing the ‘heil Hitler’ salute in front of the swastika made of cups. The images were captioned with phrases like “German engeneraing (sic)” and “German rage cage.”

The incident prompted condemnation from school officials and outrage on social media. Newport-Mesa Unified School District President Charlene Metoyer told the media that the district had a crisis management meeting on Sunday.

“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 okay thing to do,” Metoyer said.

She added that “more should have been done” to make sure that the students understood “the severity of the symbols” they were using. “It’s not something funny. It’s a very, very serious situation,” she said.

Others students from the schools spoke to local CBS affiliate KCAL9 and said they were disgusted by the behavior of their peers.

“Seeing my peers celebrating — not only taking the time to carefully lay out a symbol like that but to then do the salute — and smiling and laughing while they’re doing it; and that no one thought it was a bad idea is pretty shocking to me and bothers me a lot,” one student told KCAL9.

Some students, however, said that they were not surprised by the photographs — a view which was also echoed on social media where many said the incident reflected the “privileged culture” of Newport.

In a statement from the school district, Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley said there was “no place” for such “hateful symbols” in the community, but warned against “vilification of these teens” over the pictures.

“Instead, we need to seriously address why teens in our community might think these types of hateful symbols are acceptable or funny and worthy of selfies,” she said.

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