We are extremely concerned with a picture recently published on social media, apparently showing many Baraboo High School students giving a Nazi salute. We have also seen some anonymous posts stating that students of color frequently feel harassed at Baraboo High School.
Students have First Amendment rights, but it is appalling that these students appear to have used theirs in a way that is completely shocking and reprehensible. While the picture reportedly dates from the spring, just weeks ago, a supporter of neo-Nazi ideology went on a murderous rampage in Pittsburgh. This photo also came to light as our country honors its veterans, so many of whom gave their lives in the fight against Nazi Germany. We hope these students understand what a mistake this was, and we hope that they will join work against the hateful ideology that they appeared to treat so casually in the photo.
It is equally critical for schools to foster an environment that is safe, welcoming, and non-discriminatory for other students. To that end, we urge the Baraboo school district to not only investigate this situation but to bring in experts in anti-bias training to engage with students and faculty.
If there are individual students who believe they have been discriminated against at this school, we also urge them to reach out to the ACLU of Wisconsin at firstname.lastname@example.org.