A southern California school district is reopening its investigation into an incident in which students made a Nazi salute and sang a Nazi marching song at the start of an awards ceremony.
The Garden Grove Unified School District and officials at the Pacifica High School said in a statement that the district and the school have “received new information, allegations, and claims that have led us to reopen and widen the scope of the investigation.”
The incident, which took place last year, involved 10 members of the boys’ water polo team, the Daily Beast first reported. The video was posted to Instagram by one of the athletes.
Part of the new information includes new videos of additional instances of students making Nazi gestures and marching with a German flag and displaying a Confederate flag, the local ABC affiliate KACB reported. Two of the videos are from last year and one from three years ago.
The statement noted that when Pacifica High School administrators first learned of the initial video in March, four months after the incident occurred, its investigation led to “disparate accounts and lacked details that have since emerged.” It acknowledged that school administrators addressed the situation with the students shown in the video and their families but did not involve the larger school or district community in addressing the issue.
The Pacifica High School administration “realizes it did not respond to the incident with the gravity it deserved,” according to the statement.
The school district said that its plans for action include forming a Human Relations Taskforce to address school-based hate and bias and provide recommendations to the district and working with community partners to implement anti-bias campaigns at school campuses. The Anti-Defamation League and The Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance will be among those partners.
“Rest assured that any students engaging in hate speech or activities will face disciplinary action in accordance with California Education Code. We deeply apologize for the pain this has caused our community and the national community at large,” the statement also said, calling the incident “a crisis for our community.”
Dozens of angry parents and teachers attended a regularly scheduled school district board meeting Tuesday, calling for clarifications on the incident and the response to it.