Students’ Nazi Video

Sep 4, 2019 by

Around a dozen students at Pacifica High School in Southern California, giving the “Heil Hitler” salute, recently marched to a tune composed specifically to embolden Nazi soldiers on their campaigns of genocide.

This was captured on multiple videos over the course of about a year. Lyrics were included and the event was posted on Instagram.

For at least several months, school administrators were aware of the initial action, but apparently felt it didn’t rise to the level needed for them to take any action. They just letter the matter rest. When asked what, if any, disciplinary measures were taken, the school leader declined to discuss the matter, according to the Daily Beast.

In one of the videos, a student was draped in an American flag. There was also a scene of goose-stepping students carrying Germany’s flag. 

The school district admitted to having received reports of the videos, claimed to have investigated these reports, yet did failed to inform parents and the community.  Their failure to communicate was no oversight.  What people don’t know won’t hurt them, they must have surmised.

Perhaps it was just too time-consuming to even try to construct another side of the story, or maybe the school principal, Steve Osborne, in a strange application of humility, did not feel up to the task creatively.

The reason they had the temerity to offer, was that the accounts were “disparate” and “lacked details”. At no time did they claim that they doubted the disturbing allegations or were given cause to dispute them.

In a standard “mea culpa”, Mr. Osborn said that “we” would take full responsibility”.  ( Being a principal, it’s not surprising he used the royal “we” in reference to himself).   He did not explain what tangible form that “responsibility” would take and how “full” differs from “partial” and “partial” from none.  He did, however, invoke the laughingly non-draconian “California Education Code” for student discipline.

Promoting genocide is a violation that respond well to treatment with copious application of restorative justice.

Rabbi Peter Levi, the director of the Orange County chapter of the Anti-Defamation League, gently scolded the school for not picking up on the chance to use the treasonous videos as a “learning opportunity, …community-wide to state what our values are.”  He wishes the school’s response had been more “systematic”.

That’ll teach ’em!!

Such sappy and submissive consciousness-raising sounds enlightened but is ineffective and self-flagellating.

After another Nazi-themed display at a different Orange County location, the offending high school students were invited to tour the Los Angeles Holocaust Museum and meet some real live Holocaust survivors. Beth Kean, the museum’s CEO, was confident that the sight of Nazi-era “artifacts” would “make sure we can move forward and prevent these types of incidents from happening.”

Psychological insight should not be disparaged as a contributing factor in correcting behavior and preventing recidivism. Perhaps it may even tickle the bone of their remorse. But they need to learn that conduct has consequences.  It should not be gratuitous and heartless. Civilized people must not play fast and loose with the power of forgiveness.

The students must suffer the pain of regret and sacrifice to be made whole in the eyes of the community.  Once that happens, they may, on a case-by-case basis, have earned back our original trust.

But what about the principal?

Ron Isaac

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