Another group of Orange County high school students did their best Hitler Youth impression, this time in Garden Grove. In a Daily Beast exclusive, a video published by the website shows water polo teammates at Pacifica High School extending their arms in a “Sieg Heil” during an awards ceremony last school year. The short eight-second clip also depicts the teens trying to sing a Nazi military song in German while fending off laughter.
Only, it all ain’t shits and giggles now!
The Garden Grove Unified School District told the Daily Beast that it first became aware of the incident in March, four months after it happened. A district spokesperson remains mum on any disciplinary action taken in response.
A water polo player posted the video to Instagram with the lyrics to a song composed by Herms Neil that the Nazis used to rally their troops. The historical specificity provoked the interest of Peter Simi, a Chapman University sociology professor who specializes in extremism.
“It’s not something you’d expect somebody to accidentally know about,” Simi told the Daily Beast. “There’s some means by which they acquired knowledge about the song and associated Nazi issues.”
Both a Pacifica High School parent and student criticized the district for its quiet handling of the scandal away from the school and wider community. The Anti-Defamation League also believes there could’ve been a more “systemic response.”
Earlier this year, students from Newport Harbor High School in Newport Beach gave the Nazi salute to red cups assembled into the shape of a swastika during an off-site party. The controversy ignited outrage in March–the same month Garden Grove Unified learned of its own Sieg Heil scandal. It earned the kids a visit from Holocaust survivor Eva Schloss, the stepsister of Anne Frank, who happened to be on speaking tour through OC at the time.
They also took a trip to the Los Angeles Holocaust Museum, an invitation the museum’s CEO is also ready to extend to Pacifica students per the Daily Beast.
In the meantime: stay classy, OC!