A photo showing more than 60 male students from Baraboo High School seemingly giving the so-called "Hitler greeting" on the steps of the Sauk County Courthouse before their prom last spring, has stoked controversy after it was posted on social media on Sunday.
If anybody from Baraboo High School in Wisconsin can clue me in on why it appears the entire male class of 2018 is throwing up a Sig Heil during their prom photos - that would be great.
One student in the picture, who wished to remain anonymous, said the photographer had instructed the boys to raise their hands.
But one of the students in the photo who did not raise his arm, Jordan Blue, said he believes some of the students did intend to make the Nazi salute as a joke.
Mueller later sent an email to parents to inform them of the district's investigation into the photo and the "extremely inappropriate gesture".
"I hope we use this incident as an opportunity to take a serious, critical look at the differences between our stated values and the behaviours we see in our community", he said.
Journalist Jules Suzdaltsev, who tweeted the image out early Monday morning, said he spoke to many current and former students throughout the day.
Jordan Blue, in the far right of the photo, spoke to reporters in the U.S. about what had happened.
The photo appears to have been posted originally on the website of a local photographer, whose business is called Wheel Memories.
The Auschwitz Memorial even retweeted the photo, saying it had "no words" for the actions displayed in the photograph, while highlighting the importance of educating young people about the "danger of hateful ideology rising".
"It is too bad that there are those in society who can and do take the time to be jerks; knowingly and willingly to be jerks!"
At a district board meeting Monday evening, School Board President Kevin Vodak said he was "deeply disappointed me, shamed, appalled and angered" by the photo, according to the local Baraboo News Republic. The internet can be a wonderful tool but for some there is an overwhelming urge to destroy.
"It was very upsetting to me", he said. She added, "the Baraboo School District a hate-free school environment where all people. are celebrated and respected".
Blue stressed that his classmates' actions are not representative of Baraboo's close-knit community, or of his school.
Evers said he will be in contact with Baraboo school officials and "intolerance and bigotry must never be tolerated, in our schools or anywhere else". I truly & firmly believe we need to make a change to this awful act, it needs to stop. "Auschwitz with its gas chambers was at the very end of the long process of normalizing and accommodating hatred", the tweet said.
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