A video recently filmed at Burlingame High School depicts members of the school’s basketball team giving a Nazi salute by the locker room showers, alongside a song in German. Burlingame School District Superintendent Marcy Cassidy said she is aware of the situation and is taking it seriously.
“We care about all of our students at Burlingame, and our goal is to try to help them to understand the context and effects of their actions,” Cassidy said.
Cassidy said she could not comment on the actions taken toward individual students involved, as that violates the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
KU political science professor Donald Haider-Markel, who specializes in issues like extremism, said the rise in antisemitism, as well as the development of technology, can lead to incidents like the one at Burlingame High School.
“There is the basic fact that since roughly 2015, 2016, some people seem more comfortable expressing explicitly racist or antisemitic views in public,” Haider-Markel said. “The second part of it is that of course things like smartphones with cameras and video recording capability have been around for 20 years now, in one form or another. They’re so prevalent and commonly used now to not only record everyday events but to document events like the one you’re talking about and distribute that really quickly.”
Haider-Markel said that teaching students about antisemitism and racism should be the responsibility of not just schools, but of students’ parents as well. He added that schools and communities can speak out more when events like these occur.
“They can make it clear that this is not appropriate,” Haider-Markel said.
This is not the first incident Burlingame High School has dealt with this school year. In Sept. 2021, Burlingame High School senior football players allegedly hazed freshman players. The allegations were brought to light after WIBW was sent two anonymous handwritten letters that detailed the incidents.
Christianna Hartman, principal of Burlingame High School, did not respond to repeated requests for comment on the video.