The Wisconsin high school students who were photographed giving what looks like a Nazi salute for a prom photo will most likely avoid any form of punishment - at least officially - after the local school board decided that it couldn't take any action at this point in time. The reason? The First Amendment.
The image features several dozen high school aged boys in a pre-prom photo on the steps of the Sauk County, WI courthouse, where nearly every one of the teenage boys appears to be throwing up the Sieg Heil salute. The photo, along with the accompanying caption, "We even got the black kid to throw it up," has gone viral on the past month, which brought on a 10-day investigation by the Baraboo School District.
According to a letter sent out by Baraboo School District Administrator Lori M. Mueller (via CNN), the district came to the determination that no action would be taken upon the conclusion of the review. In the letter to parents and the community, Mueller explained that the district could not 100% conclude that the students meant anything offensive by the gesture.
"As previously stated, we cannot know the intentions in the hearts of those who were involved. Moreover, because of students' First Amendment rights, the district is not in a position to punish the students for their actions," Mueller said in the letter. However, Mueller said the photograph was posted online with a comment "meant to create harm."
So while the nature of the post was offensive and shared to "create harm," the story behind the photo itself is where the district ran into trouble. The parent who took the photo later said that he asked the boys to wave goodbye to their parents when he took the photo on the courthouse steps, according to ABC News.
And while people will sharing their views on the photo, the post, and the investigation into both, the Baraboo School District considers the case closed.
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