Community Outrage After Newport-Mesa Students Post Anti-Semitic Photos Online

Orange County school officials are responding to a flurry of outrage and concern after online photos emerged showing students from the Newport-Mesa Unified School District engaged in Nazi salutes and other anti-Semitic imagery.

Students from at least five Newport-Mesa Unified schools are believed to be involved. They include recent graduates of Newport Harbor High School and students affiliated with Costa Mesa, Estancia, Early College, and Corona Del Mar schools.

The posting shows the students’ arms outstretched in a “cheers” motion over red solo cups that appear to be part of a drinking game. The cups have clearly been arranged in the form of a swastika.

“We were recently made aware of social media postings involving some students who created inappropriate anti-semitic symbols, and possible underage drinking,” school officials said in a letter sent to parents on Sunday. “While these actions did not occur on any school campus or school function, we condemn all acts of anti-semitism and hate in all their forms.”

The district says it is currently investigating. In a show of solidarity against bigotry, students wore the color blue to school on Monday.

As the Los Angeles Times notes, hate incidents are on the rise in both communities and in schools. In January, CalSchoolNews covered a similarly disturbing story out of Ojai where a group of students formed a ‘human swastika’ with their bodies and posted the images online.