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Several Maryland Middle School Students Charged over Nazi Symbols and Hitler Salutes

Three middle schoolers in Maryland are facing criminal charges for allegedly displaying swastikas and acting out Nazi salutes at school.

The 13-year-old students attend Plum Point Middle School in Huntingtown, according to the Calvert County State’s Attorney’s Office. Each have been charged as juveniles with harassment and violations of state hate crime statutes for behavior allegedly stemming back to December.

For several months, the students displayed swastikas, acted out Nazi salutes and directed “offensive comments” toward a classmate due to the peer’s “religious beliefs,” according to the Calvert County State’s Attorney’s Office. The victim allegedly reported the behavior to Maryland State Police after repeatedly asking the three students to stop. Officers then investigated the matter and filed the charges against the three students.

Calvert County State’s Attorney Robert Harvey condemned the matter Friday, pointing to the state’s founding “principle” of “religious toleration.”

“It is frankly astonishing that nearly 400 years later some people continue to persecute others based upon their religion,” Harvey said in a press release. “I call upon parents, educators, and community and faith leaders to make sure that our children know that religious persecution has no place in our society.”

The charges have been forwarded to the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, which holds the authority to recommend an adjudicatory hearing, the juvenile court equivalent of a criminal trial.

The matter comes just over a week after six middle school students in Southwick, Massachusetts received criminal charges for their alleged involvement in what prosecutors have labeled a “mock slave auction.” The students are accused of using “racist” and “heinous” language in a Snapchat group chat, as well as making comments about “bid[ding]” on Black classmates.

The six students were each charged with threatening to commit a crime. Of the six, two were also charged with interference with civil rights. Each student is between 13 and 14 years old, according to the Hampden District Attorney’s Office.

Crisis in the Classroom (CITC) reached out to both Calvert County Public Schools and Maryland State Police for comment, but did not immediately receive responses. This story will be updated if responses are received.

https://wjla.com/news/local/3-maryland-middle-schoolers-charged-with-displaying-swastikas-nazi-salutes-at-school-calvert-county-public-schools-plum-point-middle-schools-huntingtown-baltimore-jewish-israel-middle-east-conflict-crisis-in-the-classroom