‘Beyond offensive’ picture shows Zionsville students giving Nazi salute on school property

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ZIONSVILLE, Ind. – Zionsville High School is investigating a controversial picture posted on Instagram.

According to a statement by Superintendent Scott Robison, several students in the photo “appear to be performing a Nazi salute.” Robison says 10 out of 14 students in the photo appear to be making the gesture.

The caption posted along with the picture on Instagram said, “Rumblin bumblers isn’t just a indoor soccer team, we are a cultural phenomenon.”

Robison says another student saw the photo on social media. That person forwarded it to a teacher, who forwarded it to him.

He says a full investigation into the matter will begin as soon as students return to campus on Friday. He did not specify what kind, if any, punishment those students may face.

This is not the first incident of local students posting something on social media that resulted in serious consequences.

Less than a month ago, five Guerin Catholic High School cheerleaders posted a video on social media. It shows them rapping about another student, using profanity and calling the classmate out by name.

The school released a statement saying, the five girls are ‘no longer enrolled at the school.’

And in Center Grove, one student was accused of mocking a rival at a basketball game.

According to the Zionsville High School Code of Conduct, the students involved in this picture posted on Instagram could face suspension or expulsion. That will all depend on the school’s investigation.

Superintendent Robison’s full statement:

Dear ZCS Families, Faculty, Staff, and Board of Trustees:

This evening I have been made aware of a photograph taken at Zionsville Community High School in which 10 of the 14 students pictured appear to be performing a Nazi salute. The picture was posted on Instagram and subsequently sent to me by a teacher who received it from a concerned student.

High school leaders’ investigation of the matter will begin when students return to campus tomorrow.

The photograph is sickening to me. It is, of course, beyond offensive to students, staff, parents, extended family members and to an inestimable number of people in the wider world where it will forever reside because of social media’s ubiquity. The image simultaneously misrepresents and damages the school community where thoughtful and principled citizens abound.

Zionsville Community Schools is an organization with a core mission captured sufficiently by just two words: student growth. Gestures of hatred are inconsistent with this mission, and they are not tolerated. Our school community’s efforts to foster cultural understanding will proceed, though they are set back mightily by this repugnant image.

Note: A previous version of this story included the photo in question. We have made an editorial decision to remove the image from our website.

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