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Photo Of OC Students Giving Nazi Salute Goes Viral

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Newport Harbor High School (Photo courtesy NBC-4)
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Officials at Newport Harbor High School are looking into a photo posted on social media over the weekend that showed students gathered around red Solo cups formed into the shape of a swastika, their arms outstretched in the Nazi salute.

The photo, which has been reposted all over the internet, appears to feature at least 11 people taking part in the salute, both female and male. Another photo shows participants clinking cups over the swastika, with the words "ultimate rage" written over it in a banner.

In a statement, representatives from the Newport Mesa Unified School District said they were made aware of the photos on Sunday. Officials noted that the incident didn't happen on campus or at a school-related event, but added that they "condemn all acts of anti-Semitism and hate in all their forms."

Other students at the school have responded as well. An Instagram post to a student-run account states, "As an organization dedicated to representing the students of Newport Harbor High School, we and the school administration denounce and condemn all acts of anti-Semitism and hate in any form...To all those negatively affected, you have our deepest apologies. With all of the bad out there, we will and encourage everyone to turn to goodness, kindness, and respect over hatred."

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Statements on the incident have come in from elected officials as well.

"I condemn the devastating and shocking anti-Semitism on display by local students this weekend," said U.S. Congresswoman Katie Porter. "The use of such a harmful symbol, which represents the genocide of the Jewish people, is an act of aggression and hate that has no place in our vibrant, diverse and welcoming community."

"There is no place for hateful symbols of swastikas and Nazi salutes in our community," added Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley. "Glorifying or even joking about these symbols contradicts the values we share as a diverse community."

Foley added that she discourages villifying the people involved.

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Instead, she said, "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."

There will be two town hall meetings this week for parents and students, where the matter will be discussed in both English and Spanish. The first meeting is scheduled for Monday at 6:00 p.m. at Newport Harbor High School, and the second is scheduled for Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at Corona del Mar High School.