A group of Southern California high school students sparked outrage on Monday after video surfaced of them giving the Nazi salute while a German World War II-era marching song played in the background.
The video shows several male students from Pacifica High School in Garden Grove, California, giving the Adolf Hitler salute and laughing as the song plays. At least one student appeared to sing along with the music.
Officials with the Garden Grove Unified School District said the video was taken in November 2018, but the school became aware of it in March and took “immediate action,” according to a statement released Monday.
The school district said it could not disclose if any of the students had been disciplined as a result of the video, citing federal privacy laws.
“Garden Grove Unified School District and Pacifica High School strongly condemn a video recorded last year of some students who engaged in offensive Nazi-related gestures,” the statement said. “It was not brought to the attention of the administration of Pacifica High School until March of 2019, four months following the banquet, at which time school administrators took immediate action and addressed the situation with all students and families involved.”
The video was initially “shared within a small group of students on SnapChat” and was taken during an off-campus student athletics banquet in an empty and unsupervised room at the facility, district officials said.
The Daily Beast, which first reported on the video, said the students are members of the boys’ water polo team, but ABC News could not confirmed those details.
The district called it an “unfortunate incident” and said it reached out to community organizers to help facilitate anti-bias training.
“In response to this unfortunate incident, district and school administrators have reached out to community organizations to provide support that will continue to ensure an anti-bias learning environment and address issues of hate, bias, and exclusion with all staff and students,” the statement said. “Pacifica High School, along with our other district schools, will be working with students, staff, and parents to continue to address these issues in the fall in collaboration with agencies dedicated to anti-bias education.”
“A highly diverse district, Garden Grove Unified School District actively combats bias and bullying, remains focused on fostering an inclusive environment for all stakeholders and is committed to holding students accountable, educating them on the consequences of their choices and the impact these actions have on our schools and community at large,” it added.
ABC News’ Alyssa Pone contributed to this report.
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