People Give Nazi Salutes During Ohio School Board Meeting Over Mask Dispute

A school district in Ohio has condemned the "unacceptable" actions of a man and woman seen giving Nazi salutes during a dispute about face masks at a board meeting.

The incident occurred on Monday at Worthington's school board meeting after officials asked the people in attendance to cover their faces in order to help protect themselves and others against COVID-19.

Marcia Edwards, a mother who was at the meeting with her son, described how the atmosphere began to get tense as a number of people refused.

"Something in me was, like, this is going wrong and you should start recording," Edwards told local TV station WBNS.

Edwards said she saw at least one woman and one man give Nazi salutes as school board members made another request for attendees to put on masks.

"It's horrible. There's no reason for anyone to make that gesture, I mean, to me it just spells hate," Edwards said.

"It's not how you act in a community. It's all about kindness and respect and that was nothing even close, she added.

"Hate stems from people just having their own ideas of things. People are not willing to look outside of their world or their culture."

In a statement posted on its website, the Worthington City School District also condemned the people who made the Nazi gesture when asked to wear a mask.

"We, as a community, may differ in our opinions. However, there is no compromise on our expectations that as a community, we will be civil, respectful and not hateful in our behaviors toward one another," the statement said.

"What we witnessed at the 9/13 Board Meeting was unacceptable and not representative of our inclusive community that is Worthington. Any Nazi symbolism belittles the horror and the atrocities faced by the Jewish community during the Holocaust.

"It also minimizes the 6 million Jewish lives murdered as well as the 5 million others who were killed by the Nazis. Any Nazi symbolism has no place in our community, in our schools, or in our school board meetings.

"In Worthington, we support, affirm and celebrate our diverse community."

Speaking to WCMH, Edwards said the incident had left her and her son embarrassed.

"My teen was saying, 'Why can't they just follow the rules, just be an adult?'," Edwards said. "No one likes wearing a mask. We're all doing it. We want to protect other people."

The man and woman said to have given the Nazi salute have not been identified.

Newsweek has contacted the Worthington City School District for further comment.

nazi salute school board mask
File photo of a face mask on a desk at an elementary school, seen on May 4, 2020, in Berlin. Two people were filmed making a Nazi salute during an Ohio school board meeting on Monday when officials asked those in attendance to wear face coverings. Getty Images