Officials: Boys Who Appear to Give Nazi Salute Protected

Baraboo Superintendent cites their First Amendment rights
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 24, 2018 7:00 AM CST
Officials: Boys Who Appear to Give Nazi Salute Protected
In this May 2018 photo provided by Peter Gust, a group of Wisconsin high school boys stand on the steps outside the Sauk County Courthouse in Baraboo, Wis.   (Peter Gust via AP)

(Newser) – Officials with a Wisconsin school district say free-speech rights would make it difficult to discipline students who appeared in a photograph that showed several high school boys giving what appears to be a Nazi salute. The State Journal reports that Baraboo Superintendent Lori Mueller said in a letter to parents Wednesday that officials cannot know the "intentions in the hearts" of those involved. She also said the district isn't in a position to punish the students because they are protected by the First Amendment, reports the AP.

The photo of about 60 boys was taken outside the Sauk County Courthouse in Baraboo last spring. The parent who took the photographer said he simply asked the boys to wave goodbye to their parents before heading to prom. Mueller's letter said part of the district's investigation is complete, and the Baraboo News Republic reports that after probing the incident for 10 days, "some key details" remain unclear, including what happened prior to and subsequent to the photo being taken. (More on how the story first broke here.)

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