O.C. High School Students Spark Outrage By making Swastika From Cups And Giving Nazi Salute

Police in Orange County are investigating an anti-Semitic image of a group of teenagers at a party that has gone viral and sparked deep concern among community leaders.

The picture depicts the teenagers in Newport Beach giving a Nazi salute around a formation of red plastic cups that were fashioned into the shape of a swastika.

ABC News reported that the image dates from a recent party and that some of the teenagers were thought to be students at Newport Harbor High School.

Community members have been shocked by the image, with local resident Stephanie Holland telling ABC: "My grandmother's Jewish and it makes me sad and sick to my stomach that kids would do this."

Photos of a high school party shared all over social media showing red cups in a swastika shape all while doing the Nazi salute sparking outrage in the Orange County community. Students and parents spoke with @KimTobinNBCLA tonight. @NBCLA @TELEMUNDO52 pic.twitter.com/wSIW17O9j1

— Katherine Picazo (@KatPicazoo) March 4, 2019

School board President Charlene Metoyer said the incident occurred at an off-campus party and the school had not authorized it.

"I was simply devastated to see that…This is appalling to not just our Jewish student community, but to all of us who care about human rights," she said, according to the OC Register.

Congresswoman Katie Porter, who represents the 45th District said on Twitter: "I condemn this display of a hateful, anti-Semitic symbol and call on parents and community leaders to redouble our efforts to educate young people about the history of violence against Jewish people worldwide. This has no place in Orange County."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) also condemned the action, adding in a statement: "Anti-Semitism, xenophobia and bigotry in any forms are unacceptable. We will continue to stand up and defend our fellow community members in the face of hatred."

Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism told the OC Register: "This is the kind of image I'm used to seeing when I'm looking at gatherings of violent skinheads, not high school students in one of the most acclaimed school districts in the country.

"This is not an accidental or impulsive expression of bigotry. This was premeditated based on the group of people, the Hitler salute and the carefully arranged cups. These folks knew there was a chance this image could get out. But, there is obviously no compunction whatsoever."

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District and the Newport Beach police are investigating the incident.

In a statement, Newport-Mesa Unified School District said that the actions did not take place on any school campus or during any school function, adding: "We condemn all acts of anti-Semitism and hate in all their forms."

"We remain focused on educating students on all aspects of life's challenges and are 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," the statement added.