Newport-Mesa Parent of Swastika Party Goer Sends Weekly Open Letter

Some students from Newport Harbor HS attended the party. Photo by Gabriel San Roman

Reporter’s note: On Friday afternoon, I received an anonymous letter from a Newport-Mesa Unified School District parent whose teen attended the infamous Nazi beer pong party in Costa Mesa earlier this month. I included an excerpt from it in an article I wrote about a solidarity rally with OC’s Jewish community that published that afternoon. But the original email sought the publication of the letter in full with the parent, who stayed anonymous to protect their children and family from an “awful barrage of hate,” writing, “I feel strongly that there are important elements of this story that need to be considered.” 

Newport-Mesa Unified responded to the controversy by holding two community meetings last week as well as a highly publicized private meeting between Eva Schloss, Anne Frank’s stepsister and an Auschwitz death camp survivor, and some parents and students at Newport Harbor High School. To date, no report of any disciplinary action–detentions, suspensions, expulsions–by school administrators against the offending students has been made public. In fact, student leaders present at the Schloss event were said to have been active in creating a welcoming campus climate for their Nazi-saluting classmates to reintegrate back into. 

With all that, the parent letter asks for all who read it to consider the contriteness of the kids while turning the tables on the outraged in expressing points of contention. The letter was sent to several journalists from different publications but the Weekly is first to publish it today when it’d have a higher readership as opposed to the graveyard that is Friday afternoon news. 

The conversation will definitely continue, especially with a Newport-Mesa Unified school board meeting happening tomorrow following a weekend where Newport Harbor got vandalized with Nazi posters. A petition led by a former Newport-Mesa mother has a list of demands for the district in the wake of the controversy, including ethnic studies, an end to over-policing of students of color on campuses, and an active recruitment of a more diverse teaching staff reflective of the district’s community.

But before any school board meetings happen, here’s the anonymous parent letter in its entirety. 

Anchors aweigh…

They weren’t saluting Bud Light. Snap screenshot

I want you to know more about these Newport Mesa teenagers…the ones who have been all over the
local and national news for making and photographing a Swastika made from solo cups. Some of them
raised their arms in a Nazi salute, many of them posted on social media, some of the responded (as
teenagers sadly do) in impulsive, ignorant and completely inappropriate ways. Some of the teens who
joined the discussion weren’t even present at the party, they just saw something that was getting a lot
of social media engagement and they jumped on the bandwagon.

I want you to know how much they have learned this past week. I also want you to understand that,
while most of them knew something about the Holocaust, they had no idea how much horror, pain and
fear was tied up with that symbol. They all understood the links between the symbol and Nazi Germany,
that much is obvious. But their teenage brains didn’t extrapolate that link and enable them to predict
the outrage, hurt and sadness that their actions would cause.

Most importantly, their actions came from ignorance, impulsiveness, and teenage bravado, not from
hate. While there is an issue of intolerance in America today – as noted by many of the extremely well-spoken students in the community meetings, it does not come from these children. The party was not a “Nazi party”. It was a group of teenagers getting together on a Saturday night. None of the people there were neo-Nazis, there was no Nazi paraphernalia, there was no intention to make a Swastika. It’s
disturbing that it happened, certainly, but it was not, in any way planned or premeditated.

We all know that the frontal cortex, the part of the brain that governs reasoning and decision making, is
still maturing well into adulthood. There’s a group mentality with teenagers – peer pressure, something
that makes them show off and forget who they are. This was certainly true of this group.

I know many of these children personally. One of them is my own. I know many of these families – and
no one is preaching hate. No one is fostering intolerance. No one is raising a racist, bigot or anti-Semite.
These children are being raised in loving, caring families by parents who are working hard to instill the
right values in their children.

And still…these children made a huge mistake. And some compounded that mistake by trying to
somehow justify their actions in their irrational, idiotic teenage manner. I and other parents have spent
many hours with them this week – while they learned more about the Jewish community (of which
some are members), were privileged enough to have an audience with Eva Schloss–Anne Frank’s sister
and Holocaust survivor, attended a Shabbat dinner, watched various Holocaust films, tour the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust and hear from another amazing Holocaust survivor, and listened to a Holocaust scholar who walked them through the horrors of this horrific time in our collective history…with compassion, care, connectedness and understanding.

I want you to know that these children now understand why what they did was so very wrong. And they
have learned a life lesson of the tallest order. Many have not been eating or sleeping, such is the depth
of their regret. They are so sad for the hurt they have caused, and they desperately want to make
amends. But they must be allowed to. This means giving them the opportunity to move forward, with
the understanding that, while they made a mistake, this mistake does not have to define them.

In contrast to the compassionate response of the Jewish Community, so many people have responded
to what they perceive as hate with hate in return. How can that help anything?

These are children – with their whole lives ahead of them. Some are still receiving messages telling them to kill themselves, that their life isn’t worth living any more. The mob mentality on social media is
continuing to publicly shame them, to call for attacks on their homes, their families and their schools.
We should remember, as adults, that the world is different for our children than it was for us. The fact
that everyone has a camera with them always has meant that they can’t make mistakes (and I know, this was a big one) without huge repercussions. If people recognize the mistakes in their past and how they put them right, I think the tone will improve quickly.

Please don’t, for a moment, think that I am excusing their actions. I am not. I am simply asking for
understanding. Asking that you give them a second chance – and stop calling for their expulsion, that
their college offers be rescinded, that they should be attacked or kill themselves. They have taken
responsibility for their actions. They have shown up and listened. They have participated, and they will
continue to do so. They have asked questions and they are learning so much. This process is far from
over. Their education will continue. The Jewish community in Orange County has been wonderful in
their forgiveness and willingness to educate and help them see why their actions have caused such
outrage. So many others have been cruel and hateful; isn’t cruelty and hate what fueled the Holocaust?

I also want you to know that the children I know are not guilty of hatred. They are guilty of being
followers, of being young, ignorant, impulsive and extremely insensitive. And right now, they are
suffering. And they deserve to as part of the learning process. But it’s enough. Does this have to end
with another teen suicide? Because I’m so worried that this might happen. And what will we say then?
Will those adults who continue sharing the images with these teenage faces on them take responsibility as these children have done?

I want you to know that they are good kids. And they want so badly to make this right. Every single one
of them now knows why it’s so important to stamp out intolerance, to learn from the past and to take
positive actions to make sure history does not repeat itself. They will become leaders if we let them.

I ask you all, please, to forgive them and to ask others to stop attacking them before something else
awful happens. Thank you for reading and considering this message.

*Updated with sections added from a second draft of the letter sent to us after publication.

Gabriel San Román is from Anacrime. He’s a journalist, subversive historian and the tallest Mexican in OC. He also once stood falsely accused of writing articles on Turkish politics in exchange for free food from DönerG’s!

64 Replies to “Newport-Mesa Parent of Swastika Party Goer Sends Weekly Open Letter”

    1. …dear parent
      It comes down to You the mentor
      the educator
      the spiritual guide
      of the child who is clay in your hands, whose Excellence is shaped by your wisdoms and emphatic compassions.
      Explore with your child where does the idea of such parody come from and the point of it…the action, and the reaction. This will tell you much as to where you were when this lesson should’ve been taught…as a parent, their guide…through life’s maze.
      Failures of character are but a page of the human condition; learned knowledges past and now is key to understanding the moment’s impact that showed the failure, that a solid character will decide the course and the outcome of.
      Character and knowledge begins with You

    2. Biased on your response and using it as a standard. You should never get a second chance at anything. Ever again in your life!

      Intolerance is a two way street!

      1. Nobody here said they didn’t deserve a second chance, but that these kids absolutely should face consequences. That is how people learn in life. That’s how it sticks.

    3. these kids have been working with the jewish community n have been to holocost museum and have been learning about the horrible things that happened in the past, and not all of them are from newport and arent from wealthy families. these are kids that have made a huge mistake n are trying to mend things with the jewish people n move on with there lives. you people keep wanting to shame these kids n try to destroy there lives in some way, and everybody says white privlege but not every kid there was white and some were jewish as well.

    4. Do you personally know every parent in Newport Beach? Read the facts. Some of the kids involved went to Estancia in Costa Mesa yet since Costa Mesa isnt known as white or rich you didnt include Costa Mesa in your jealous, hateful statement.

      What an oxymoron to be spewing a hateful generalization of EVERY parent in Newport Beach. The same thing you are in fact condemning these young adults for!

      They are young & can learn & change & teach others.

      Be positive, not negative & dont perpetuate hate.

      1. Katie Hernandez, are you being “positive, not negative & don’t perpetuate hate”? Because in your second sentence you accuse someone that YOU don’t know (your first complaint) of making a “jealous hateful statement”.

        And if you think anyone is “jealous” of raising children who think it’s fun and games to make massive beer filled swastickas and laugh and joke and make Nazi salutes you are deranged.

        These almost adult age culprits have actually done little to “mend things” with any community on their own volition. They’ve been drug around and forced to passively listen. This should follow them around forever. How do you think authorities monitor candidates for future hate crimes like what just happened in New Zealand? By looking at their online behavior. Hate crimes are up by huge percentages in many countries including America. It’s very helpful to know the names and faces of future potential domestic terrorists.

    5. I think that was a beautiful heartfelt letter, I read it to my son, we both had tears in our eyes. I thank you for taking the courage to write this letter, and I agree. Right when this happened my family and I were very upset, but I stopped and said what can we learn from this. Again thank you. And I thank the beautiful Jewish community for showing love when they could have shown anger. One more think I have noticed, those who cast the harshest stones, usually need the most forgiveness.

      1. If you and your son really want a good cry read some books written by holocaust survivors. What’s courageous about writing an anonymous letter? You can be upset and STILL learn from events. Wise people have even said those two things go hand in hand. No one represents the entire Jewish “community” reactions are as diverse as the people. Some things are worth getting angry over. Not sure what a “harsh stone” is? It is also confusing who you “noticed” needing the most forgiveness? Nazis? People who oppose Nazis? Who has “cast the harshest stones”? The ones who committed a mass human extermination? The ones who fought against it? Those who continue to point out and fight violence and religious hatred?

    1. Yes kids amd people do stupid things. But being born and raised just to the north of Newport, I personally am tired of the privileged getting away with this kind of behavior because of their parents influence, money and power. Im not saying they deserbe to be physically harmed but there definitely needs to be some action taken by the school system. If that jeopardizes their futire then so be it. A lot of kids amd adults living outside of NB have suffered similar fates only because they did not have influential parents to get them out of it.

  1. I think this is the issue, trying to protect them knowing they did something wrong. How will they learn if they don’t face the consequences of their actions? I do not however agree that they should be threatened in any way or bullied.

  2. Ahaha just like I called slap in the hand maybe before parents are going to start crying that their kids (white kids of course) are getting death threats and here we go its fucken disgusting Newport parents.

  3. We were pulled over in Newport on Balboa because our hats were backwards.. Lol.. You think this is a kid problem.. LMFAO !!! It’s starts with the adults..

  4. These kids are completely privileged and need to face consequences. Do inner city children get special consideration for their mistakes? Absolutely not. This doesn’t just go away because now you understand and are sorry. At their age, I knew better. They knew it was wrong but as this parent pointed out, they were “ignorant” to the horrors of the holocaust – what? Are you kidding? At their age I knew EXACTLY what the holocaust was along with its horrors. Perhaps consider teaching your child to have the confidence not to be a follower. It is very unfortunate that kids now have their mistakes thrown into cyberspace but that is the reality. Ignorance is not an excuse for impunity. If I had done this, there’s no way my mother would have defended my stupid actions in an open letter. Expulsion would have been a proper consequence. The problem, Open Letter Parent, is that kids are NOT being raised like we were. Now they’re being raised with mom and dad coddling them through all their “mistakes.” Bullying is inexcusable but consequences are necessary.

  5. No personal responsibility these kids will always be bailed out by their rich parents. This parent makes excuses and doesn’t want these kids to feel anymore pain. Two weeks of discomfort is enough. What about all the pain that has been inflicted on Jewish community for just being Jewish? These kids will never understand the lifetime of pain people receive based on race or religion. I agree more hate won’t help the problem but neither will just saying “kids will be kids.” Especially when these privileged kids are future judges, lawyers, police, and politicians.

    1. Come on……what pain? I think most Jewish people have not even paid much attention to this…too busy. It is a dust up. I think we hand wrong just a little too much sometimes.

  6. I’m curious. When my son was about 12 I took he, my 12 yo nephew and a friend of my son to the Holocaust museum in Los Angeles. We toured it and we talked about it. We spent the day immersed in it. I wonder if any of these parents from Newport did anything close to that to make sure their kids knew the truth of the symbol. The truth of genocide. The truth of hate. My guess is they were far too busy with debutante balls and lacrosse. You, the parents of these kids have absolutely failed.

  7. I knew about the holocaust when I was 12 and the pain and horror. My kids as well knew even earlier. I have heard the frontal cortex excuse before but with children being sexually abused and not knowing if it is wrong, not teenagers who already learned about a symbol associated with hate and genocide.
    Nobody should be telling these kids to kill themselves that is awful but I would love to see these kids do something with their “new education”. The entire community needs to learn from these kids so let the teach the others who are ignorant and lead by example

  8. This is typical Newport Beach parenting. I couldn’t post this on my social media, because parents would recognize their children….but my daughter was in a figure skating program. At one point we took the kids to Alabama for a team skate. I took the girls to the river on 4th of July and there were a lot of all kinds of people. Half the girls stood there in their OC fancy “summer day” attire, and when I told them they needed to realize that not everyone lives like they do, one literally said, hand to God, “but I’m from Newport Beach.” I could barely contain myself. These parents will feel bad their poor kids are sad and probably will end up getting them something special to cheer them up.

  9. Personally, I know they are kids and they have made a mistake. This outrage from the outside of this community is just noise. These kids didn’t get away with squat! They are paying dearly for what in some cases in my youth my peers and I were far more aggregous! I’m glad they got a teachable moment and anyone wh says anything less is even more ignorant than these kids!

    1. How did they pay dearly? What real consequences have they faced other than the whole world knows how stupidly they acted? The bullying and threats are abhorrent. But what did they expect in this cyber world? THEY posted it and therefore did this to themselves. They absolutely should pay consequences. Ignorance is not an excuse for impunity. And to say those who think otherwise are ignorant just makes you sound ignorant.

  10. I get where she’s coming from as a parent but there’s no excuse for what they did. I’m glad they’re understanding what they did and feel guilty now but I’ll never understand what made them think that was” fun” or “ok” to do.

  11. I get where she’s coming from as a parent but there’s no excuse for what they did. I’m glad they’re understanding what they did and feel guilty now but I’ll never understand what made them think that was” fun” or “ok” to do. #disappointed

  12. What’s crazy is this parent went so far as to talk about parts of the brain that are still not developed well into adulthood to try and excuse this action. To suggest to us that this was not done on purpose the designing of a swastika 2 to 3 cups deep in width on each side was not done on purpose is seriously a slap in the face and disrespectful to the intelligence of the people who would read this article . As a black man I don’t get excuse for anything that I do neither does my daughter who is 18 or my son who is 13 or my other son who is 11 and the odds are they will likely never get excuse for anything that they do so I have to teach them that mistakes are not allowed but if you make one you damn well better own up to it the same way you committed the act.
    As a black man I don’t get excuse for anything that I do neither does my daughter who is 18 or my son who is 13 or my other son who is 11 and the odds are they will likely never get excuse for anything that they do so I have to teach them that mistakes are not allowed but if you make one you damn well better own up to it the same way you committed the act. It’s disgusting that this parent went so far!!! Almost as disgusting as what these kids dead they deserve consequences period!!! Expel shin should be the least of their consequences they should be made to work for free $100 apiece in some Jewish center or somewhere where they will learn that what they have done hurts millions of people so that they may never forget and teach their children and their children’s children racism of any kind is unacceptable and should be never tolerated

  13. I’m a parent of high school students in Newport Beach but my kids do not attend NHHS. We are Jewish. While I agree that ignorance of the Holocaust and its symbols in this day and age seems incomprehensible particularly given middle and high school curricula, these children really do need to learn and be taught more. The most effective response will not be punitive, but proactive. The parent letter writer is concerned about a teen suicide resulting from the response to this. In our community that is a legitimate concern. But I also want to make sure that these kids are so well educated about this issue that their claimed ignorance ends with this game of beer pong and that none of then ever grows up to become a Sam Woodward.

  14. I am a teacher at Newport Harbor High School (NHHS). NHHS is a phenomenal school with many wonderful attributes. There have been many references in the media to rich, white privileged kids who are spoiled. Interestingly, a majority of our students have Costa Mesa addresses. Our student body of 2400+ is a diverse, welcoming student body with the same everyday challenges of our society. Our principal, Dr. Sean Boulton, has been a champion for diversity and inclusion. Dr. Boulton has cultured a climate of positivity, fairness, and accountability for all stakeholders. I appreciate the time and effort of the Open Letter parent. I sense sincere remorse and understanding to the gravity of this situation and the parent makes a reasonable request for understanding and forgiveness. The students in attendance at the party made a huge mistake and they have experienced public embarrassment and shame. Many of these students are actively earning forgiveness and striving to be productive, active citizens. It is time for all of us to move forward. The teachers and staff at NHHS have spent considerable time engaging students in open, thoughtful discussions about how we can be part of a solution. My students acknowledge that students at the party used poor judgement surely fueled by alcohol consumption and peer influence. My students also commented there is no place for hate, bigotry, and prejudice including the social media pundits who have tried, convicted, and sentenced the party students without knowing them or hearing their remorse. I implore us to tone down the negative rhetoric and find productive common ground. Sadly, NHHS was vandalized with white supremacist and Nazi posters this past weekend. The student body was appalled at the actions of a few who used the dark of night to advance their agenda of division and intolerance. Please exercise some patience and give us time to get it right.

    1. Mr. Bell, time for what? At the very least they were DRINKING. Or is pressure from privileged parents slowing NHHS down? And yes “privileged” is absolutely appropriate here no matter the address. Nice try though. I have heard many comments from kids who are not in this “privileged” category (perhaps the ones who live in Costa Mesa?) that claim to be treated VERY differently from those privileged kids whose parents write open letters listing excuses for their abhorrent actions.

    2. Thank you for sharing what you did regarding your experience with those who are DIRECTLY related to the situation! I believe it took a lot of courage for the parent as well as yourself to speak out! I believe whole heartedly that NOONE is making light of the situation and all parties are doing their best to right a horrible wrong. It is equally heartbreaking hearing the hate being projected at these kids…….. I don’t understand how people can’t see that they themselves are being so intolerant and hateful. What happened to thou shall not judge? Are those who are so admit about what the consequences should be for children they don’t know completely free from sin or mistakes “doubtful”! Bottom line the lack of compassion in the response to what took place is equally as alarming as the act itself! I believe as adults it is our job to teach love, compassion and kindness ESPECIALLY when it is not easy to give! I will be praying for ALL involved! I want to give a HUGE thanks to the wonderful Jewish community for giving us a BEAUTIFUL example of what forgiveness looks like and what that fosters!!

    3. Do not forget, during the Nazi occupation of Europe, there were many ” youth ” chapters , if you will, of the Nazi party. This should not be taken lightly. For anyone to take it as, kids will be kids, they were playing, it was a joke, and so on……is frightening. They learn from their parents and teachers, and yes, their friends. Do not shrug this off as, oh well, oooops, silly teenagers. No, this is not, silly teenagers…..these are young adults,of voting age, and soon, beginning their lives on their own, and to say, they learned a.lesson????? They will not do this again???? Rubbish. Absolute rubbish.

  15. But of course because they are white, they are kids. But balck and other minorities kids who mess up are horrible and deserve the max punishment. Who ever wrote this letter I say to you, you failed your kid and you set a bad example! Shame on you!

  16. And this too shall pass. Looks like some kids made a mistake and had a lapse in judgment. When I was growing up we had lots of lapses in judgement. Fortunately, every moron withing five feet wasn’t holding a camera documenting them all. Sometimes during these “lapses” we used to get caught and there would be consequences. Sometimes we didnt get caught and we decided on our own that’s probably not something we should be doing and sometimes we were just drunk and seeking attention in front of our friends. Through it all we learned one way or another who we were as individuals. Who we wanted to be and who we didnt want to be. Who we liked to hang out with and who we didnt. We learned lessons, life lessons. We all survived and grew up and most of us matured and lead meaningfull lives now.

    I think if your kids weren’t there then this isnt any of your business. For the parents who’s kids were there I hope you take this time to continue to be the best parents you can be and then move on. Life is short and there are many important things to focus on. Focus on the good and you will get more good.

    Hard to believe this is getting any press at all. Sad state of affairs in this country that this is newsworthy. Unfortunate for all of us that true journalism is dead.

  17. My take away is that the school district did a great job after the fact. However, prevention is the key. Make trips to Holocaust museum and museums of intolerance part of the curriculum. Parents, communicate with your children that any kind of hatred towards the other is never acceptable and always hurtful. Talk to them and engage your children. Stop making excuses for the them. At the very least a teenager knows that the swastika represents hatred and suffering. Soon there will be no more holocaust survivors to share their experiences. Now is the time.

  18. Stop justifying your hate teachings through out the life of your teenagers since they were toddlers; shame on you parents of NPhigh for being the reason of highest rate suicide rate of teenagers in this high school

  19. Dear parent,
    Why are YOU writing the letter? If your spawn was remorseful, contrite, articulate etc. THEY would write their own letter. No decent parent would ever write and send an anonymous whiny letter on behalf of their almost legal adult age children. COME ON! You really don’t get that? This is why your family is a “fail”. By the time kids are 6, 7, 8 healthy parents make THEM return the candy the stole. Well raised children apologize for their own mistakes. They clean up their own messes. They stand up and take responsibility for their own actions.

    Good parents don’t blame people for being upset when their wretched child does something upsetting. So OTHER people (again, parents) have dragged them to passively listen to survivors. They have briefly lost their appetite or a little sleep. Not because of what they have done but because of the reaction to what they have done. What have any of these “followers” as you describe them initiated on their own to atone for their hate?

    And you do know it was the “followers” who made the Holocaust possible, right? Without all those, “followers” it would have just been one evil failed man screaming into a void. But those, “followers” sure came in handy running all those concentration camps, rounding up Jewish people, getting them onto trains and into gas chambers. It would have been impossible to murder millions and millions of people without those, “followers”.

    So you call it “group mentality” and “jumping on the bandwagon” or “followers”. Others clearly see the next wave of ready and willing Nazi Storm troopers. Who’s parents will someday claim that their children were good people, “Just following orders.”

    But of course they will claim it anonymously. Because you know…they still don’t get it.

  20. Why has nobody addressed the issue or even mentioned that this was HIGH SCHOOL party – where under aged drinking was going on? Young, dumb and DRUNK!

  21. Lol young, ignorant teenagers etc etc etc. so ummmm, why were they at this party? I’m sure those red cups were filled with water, riiiiight? Great job, parents! The truth is, you do not know your kids. You aren’t with them at all times. They’re gonna be who they really are when you’re not looking. Those are facts. Stop apologizing for them. 👌🏼

  22. I am an older Christian woman who has made her fair share of mistakes in life! I am grateful for the grace and forgiveness shown to me over the years. With that said, I disagree with this ‘apology’ letter from the parent! There MUST be consequence for bad choices!! To make excuse after excuse, ‘they’re kids’ ‘ their frontal brain isn’t fully developed’ ‘ they got caught up in mob mentality’ is disheartening. Their punishment has been a few sleepless nights and a missed meal!?? Come on mom and dad!! I do NOT agree with hateful letters of self harm, but perhaps colleges should take a stand and make these ‘kids’ spend a year in service before applying. A year in a Jewish retirement home? I year feeding the homeless?? Visiting sick cancer kids.

    You said over and over again – “these are good kids’, yet they obviously spend their Saturday nights drinking and due to boredom create games like this!? ‘Good’ kids are out making a positive difference in this world!

    Sad thing is, they will walk away from this with no lesson learned. Will most likely end up on Ellen apologizing, yet gaining fame…. write a book and profit from their undeveloped frontal lobe!

  23. I really want to believe that they have learned their lesson (and maybe they have) and when to forgive people for horrible and stupid actions is something we have to face constantly in our society today… but privilege is real. People of color are literally being killed for being in the wrong place at the wrong time and we’re supposed to shrug this off as kids being kids? I really don’t buy it. I believe in redemption. I really do. But they need to recognize their privilege as part of their contrition.

  24. Great letter! Parents are supposed to coach and correct behavior. It sounds like the parents and community are doing a great job educating everyone involved.

  25. I’m not rich, and I grew up lower middle class in the Midwest. My parents were racists, as were my grandparents. Egregiously so. Not KKK people, just average blue collar citizens. Racism was an inherent part of the local culture there.
    I thought that racist jokes were funny until about the age of 18 or so. I also accepted the casual racism around me.
    But there was a disconnect with that mentality. As I started to develop my own independent identity, I knew that racism was wrong, and I started to see the people around me- including my family- in a different light. I inherently saw and felt all people as equal, and just saw through the cultural brainwashing that racism is.
    It IS possible to change. It IS possible to learn. Are these kids privileged? Yes. Are their parents trying to protect them? Yes. The best protection for these kids is EDUCATION. The best prevention for these types of incidents is also education.
    In my opinion, if everything in this parent’s letter is true, then I think that the consequences are appropriate.

  26. I am Jewish
    This is not just about Jews
    The Nazi flag is representative of National Socialism the belief the you are better than all other people on earth.
    Under that flag the Nazis were responsible for the deaths of 50,000,000 people.
    Their goal was to subjugate the entire world, not just to conquer, but enslave everyone.

  27. Our little Angel’s are privileged and should not be held accountable. Bull. What about the home and the adults home to where this party was held and supplied the alcoholic beverages. Newport PD hello.

  28. I did see that one teacher from NHHS replied. I am curious what the history teachers think about the comment “I also want you to understand that, while most of them knew something about the Holocaust, they had no idea how much horror, pain and fear was tied up with that symbol.” Regarding their education, US History (11th grade) specifically covers WWII and based upon a generic pacing guide, the Holocaust would have been covered by now. Also, the Diary of Ann Frank is a common book read by 8th graders throughout the country. Also, World History (typically in 10th grade) covers aspects of WWII and the Holocaust as well. I understand that at their age, these children are impulsive, but they still need to be held accountable for their actions given that this was a subject that has been taught in school.

  29. A beer pong swastika. It’s a ridiculous concept on it’s surface. Teenagers have always been shitheads, and I doubt any of these jabronis are going to graduate to lynching and cross-burning.

    Tell them they messed up, show them the error of their ways and move on. All this hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing is exactly what these little turds want.

  30. I’m the father of a NHHS student who did not attend the party. I have two points to raise about the anonymous letter:
    1. I, like the reader, believe that most of the kids seen in the photographs were probably ignorant and just going along with something they might not have felt comfortable with. But they all could not have been followers, as the writer suggests. Was there no a ringleader? The writer suggests all the kids were ignorant followers.
    2. Echoing Rosie’s point above, has the writer written similar letters to the media about young people (not his or her child) who did stupid, criminal things who then faced life-altering consequences? Or does the writer only experience the emotions he or she expresses in the letter when the author’s child is the one feeling the heat?

  31. Being a “follower” is one of the worst excuses ever. It also is the single suckiest thing you can be as a human. And they aren’t that young! If they cannot think for themselves by now and are just mindless, unconscious, uneducated herd animals — what will they do when their next “leader” sexually assaults someone vulnerable? Or beats up a person for being different? These kids sound dangerous to hear this letter writing parent describe it.

    These “undeveloped brains” were developed enough to procure lots of alcohol illegally. To find a comfortable, secure location and plenty of cups to drink it. They organized and assembled in an unsupervised or badly supervised place to hang out. They figured out how to record and proudly post evidence of their despicable lives. Very selective use of their alleged”undeveloped brain” power.

    If you know that your kid lacks judgement why allow them to congregate en masse with other mentally impaired students and drink illegally? Maybe their parents brains are undeveloped too?

  32. A swastika and a nazi salute are not “mistakes.” My 11 year old knows that is a symbol of racism and hate. The problem isn’t the picture, it’s the swastika. And the “time to move on and forgive” attitude reveals that racism/bigotry/anti-semitism is acceptable in their community. To the parents of these children, we know how you raised them because we saw the picture. Perhaps the education needs to start with you as parents.

  33. What I don’t like about this is the pleading that these are “good kids.” The truth is that all kids are good kids. All kids make mistakes. And when you make a mistake, you suffer the consequences of the situation. Good or bad intentions, mistakes are mistakes. Bad choices are bad choices.

    Now I do NOT think these kids should be getting threats or should be treated with hate. That is absolutely wrong.

  34. Wow. What a bunch of *ssh*les. I’m so glad I’m too old to make mistakes that end up being put up on the internet. I am betting these kids really didn’t understand the enormity of their actions or the picture wouldn’t have been posted. I am also betting that they have no ill will to those of the Jewish persuasion, and I’ll further bet that they would never hope for another holocaust. Can’t you just let it go, or do you really have to see their lives ruined because of something they did that didn’t cause death or injury or destruction of property? I mean, holy cow, this takes hurt feelings to a whole new level.

    1. Yes. Yes. Feelings are hurt when your relatives are pulled from their homes, separated from loved ones, abused, tattooed like cattle, starved, gassed in a concentration camp and then their corpse dumped into a dirty pit in the ground. Millions and millions of feelings are very, very, hurt. Yes, in one of the most unfathomable acts of human cruelty, savage mass murder, unbearable tragedy and the loss of millions of innocent lives at the hands of a diabolic regime based on the hatred of “other” oppression and bloodshed — Yes. Many are guilty of retaining, “hurt feelings” about the Holocaust. You have got that part right. That’s why we went to war. A world war. Because it took, “hurt feelings to a whole new level”. And the good people declared, “Never again.” And that means being strenuously vigilant any time this kind of bigotry and hatred rears it’s head. Anywhere, anytime. People ask, “How did it happen? How COULD it ever have happened?” The way most terrible things do happen. A little at a time and then all at once. So, again. You are right about that ONE thing. “Hurt feelings” prevail about the holocaust. And for those who remember they always will. Thank God.

      But by your own admission you are making a “bet” on everything else. You don’t “know” anything about what these Nazi saluting, Third Reich effigy building, disturbing social media commenting people have in their hearts and minds. You are just making a “bet” on their intentions and motivations. Character is defined by ACTION. Not by what someone on the internet “bets”. And judging strictly by their ACTIONS you are going to lose your “bet” on this matter every time.

      And to answer your question; I personally, “can’t just let it go.” I’m gonna go ahead and hold onto to the pain, shock, horror and “hurt feelings” of the Holocaust. I think the events merit it.

  35. How does anyone know that these kids were all white? And how do they know that they are all privileged? Sounds like a lot of racially jumping to conclusions to me.

    We have national leaders (that are not just white!) in the House of Representatives that are sending out racially charged and anti-semite messages on TV and on various social media. Have you not read these? Kids hear and see this from adults other than their parents. Kids are socially formed by many groups once they start interacting with society. Parents are the chief influence in their early years to age 5 and 6 and after that they get bombarded with socially generated crap for the rest of their lives! Look to yourselves…it takes a community!

    1. Look at the pictures readily available on the internet. They are white. I know the families. They are white too. Do some research before you look for an excuse to a blatant showing of hate. No more excuses for bad behavior, especially if it’s bu rich white kids from Newport Beach. Enough is enough!

  36. This is why I had such a horrible experience when I worked in the OC. Mind you, I responded with nothing but the upmost professionalism, always and still secured raises for these racist nazi’s, and didn’t quit my job even when I wanted to because I refused to leave people hanging in the middle of three district contract negotiations. I witnessed first hand racist parents working to the detriment of none whites in coordinated fashion, thus children don’t call too far from the tree.

    I have witnessed first hand how they would be offended and coordinate for the dismissal of any teacher who challenges their white supremacist, Eurocentric views (even if done in an incredibly tactful, respectful and patriotic way, btw). It’s like trying to work as a Mexican teacher in Tennessee or Mississippi. Impossible to come out unscathed if you show any sign of agency and self esteem.

    Unless there are real consequences to the white supremacists and their children they will never learn. Even if there are consequences, rightly earned consequences, white supremacists are making more white supremacist babies in the OC. So expulsion is the least that should happen.

    I need to be clear here, up until that experience I was definitely protected by my life experiences. Shielded from the overt racism and discrimination. Up until I worked negotiating contracts for three OC Districts employees I had never seen racism the way I saw it there. It wasn’t usually directed at me, although sometimes it was. As it was impossible for some white elderly to come to terms with the fact they had a Mexican advisor.

    I saw it in regular day to day coordinating action, it is the majority’s modus operandus there. So no one in those communities should be left off the hook. The one time they got caught is actually a reflection of the value system in those homes, a reflection of their modus operandus by a majority of whites there. No one should be left off the hook, I know because of what I witnessed first hand.

  37. As a black woman and mother who once worked as a teacher for the racist school district of Newport-Mesa (I didn’t last a whole school year due to harassment) , I know first hand that this letter is drafted by a mother who does, in fact, raise bigots and instill hatred. No child that was not raised with this tone of bigotry in their home would’ve passively stood by in a situation like this. Only to then make a solute and brazenly post it on social media. No, your child(ren) have been taught that this is acceptable. Behaviors like this are learned and are the true fabric of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa.

    This mother is one who thinks “time out” is enough for her children. She thinks their kids have had enough abuse. She thinks their children are allowed to get a pass and this is exactly the issue with these kids AND the parents. You don’t get a pass for harrassing people, for bigotry, and for being exposed.

    This doesn’t stop here because this letter has all the undertones of white privilege. You feel the barrage of unacceptance, hatred, and disgust? Welcome to a day in the world of a minority. Welcome to how it feels to be a student of color amongst your racist children.

    I have lived minutes away from this community for about a decade (because my daughter deserves the same resources and opportunities that aren’t afforded to inner-city schools) and as a black woman and mother, I call bulls*it BECKY!! You all have taught this dialogue in your homes and now you’ve been exposed. Deal with it!! Moreover, DO BETTER!!

    YOU HAVE PROBLEMATIC THINKING!!

  38. Do not forget, during the Nazi occupation of Europe, there were many ” youth ” chapters , if you will, of the Nazi party. This should not be taken lightly. For anyone to take it as, kids will be kids, they were playing, it was a joke, and so on……is frightening. They learn from their parents and teachers, and yes, their friends. Do not shrug this off as, oh well, oooops, silly teenagers. No, this is not, silly teenagers…..these are young adults,of voting age, and soon, beginning their lives on their own, and to say, they learned a.lesson????? They will not do this again???? Rubbish. Absolute rubbish.

  39. I am sorry those kids are getting death threats and hateful messages. Hate never made America great and two wrongs never make a right. I hope you inow that one of the teens that posted those messaes also got 1,000 of death threats from actual Nazi’s and was doxxed. How do you lime you home getting call from actual Nazi’s? The saddest thing is the police refuse to protect anyone or do anything.

    I think we as a community need to work on keeping all the children safe. Perhaps it is time for yhe City Councils and the police to make a pledge to start taking hate crime threats seriously.

    1. If you have knowledge of “actual Nazis”
      (a) That’s surprising.
      (b)They would be very old.
      (c) That would be so perplexing that they would successfully hide for decades and decades only to reveal themselves now to threaten a Newport Beach kid who seemingly agrees with their ideology.

      That is an international news story you are sitting on and you should report these war criminals immediately. Maybe then they can be tried and finally, finally brought to justice.

      If you are claiming that law enforcement is ignoring, “1000’s of death threats” against a minor child that is egregious and also worthy of a major news story. Where are the police reports? Let’s make this right!

      We as a community do “need to work on keeping all children safe”. What about keeping Jewish kids safe? Do you not understand that when you emulate and imitate and celebrate Nazi symbols, gestures, words that you — yourself are agreeing with the killing of Jewish people and in effect making a “death threat”?

  40. Racism is soooooo much worse in most parts of our country. Just because the average family in newport beach is wealthier than most americans, doesn’t make that the problem. I am getting the feeling that many of you are just looking for another way to hate the middle-upper class haha. If i move there, i am automatically going to be one of them too? Very interesting. (By no means am i suggesting this wasnt very stupid of those kids, but it solidifies my beliefs that even some of you adults say and think some stupid stuff)

  41. Thank you for this comment! Not one mention of underage drinking and the contributing by adults to it? What are we missing here? What parents have been held responsible for it? I am so sick of parents thinking partying and underage drinking in their house is okay. How about the adults brains are formed and allowing the drinking is a crime? Accountability?

Leave a Reply to Rosie Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *