The Wisconsin students seen extending their arms in what many perceived to be the Nazi salute will not be punished. Baraboo School District Superintendent Lori Mueller released a statement saying the students pictured won’t be reprimanded for the photo that angered many.
“As previously stated, we cannot know the intentions in the hearts of those who were involved,” Mueller said. “Despite our efforts, we are still unclear about some key details.” According to the New York Times, the district investigated the photo for a little more than a week with the help of local law enforcement.
The picture was taken by parent Peter Gust, not a hired school photographer, back in May moments before the Baraboo junior prom.
In the photo, many of the students have their arms raised, elbows locked and palms down. Another student is seen making what appears to be the OK sign, a gesture which has been adopted and used by white nationalists to poke fun at liberals.
The image was first posted on Twitter by an anonymous user on Nov. 11 and also posted to Gust’s personal website. On Nov. 12, Gust removed it and offered an apology. “To anyone that was hurt I sincerely apologize,” the statement said.
There was, however, one student pictured who did not perform the Nazi salute. Jordan Blue is wearing a red bow tie and his arms were at his sides When asked by a local journalist why he chose to not participate, Blue said the salute didn’t align with his beliefs.
“I knew what my morals were and it was not to salute something I didn’t firmly believe in,” he said.
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