BARABOO, Wis. (FOX 9) - There are new reports of anti-Semitism in Baraboo, Wisconsin just weeks after a photo appeared online showing a group of students performing what appeared to be a Nazi salute. The photo made rounds across the country and world, even garnering a response from the Auschwitz Memorial in Poland.
Police have opened a criminal investigation after they say anti-Semitic flyers and a video surfaced this week. This development comes just a week before the district was set to meet for a peace rally in response to the controversial photo.
The parent who took the photo said he had simply asked the teens to wave good bye to their parents before prom. District officials said they couldn't punish the students because they are protected by the first amendment. However, the district administrator vowed to do something and planned several events to help educate and heal, including a full day of peace assemblies on December 18.
“They've kept a really good contact with the parents,” said Monk Johnson, a parent of a student at Jack Young Middle School. “They've sent out a lot of statements about what their mission is, they've held a lot of meetings productive and unproductive, but they're trying.”
Now, less than a week before the planned assembly, there have been two more instances of what police are calling anti-Semitism in Baraboo. The first happened when flyers appeared on Monday morning at Jack Young Middle School, containing warnings about December 18.
The second instance was a video called "a satirical short about current events in Baraboo" posted on Minds.com. The video has since been taken down, but it showed an "edited blend" of video and still photos, showing community members in what police called "hate-related conduct."
The district assured parents that they're working with the police department and taking extra precautions.
"I think the school themselves is doing everything they can, they can only do so much,” said Josh Tomlinson, a parent of children who attend Jack Young Middle School. “They have rules and laws that they have to follow just like everybody else and we have to follow those and just pray that god takes care of everything else for us."
The district does not believe there is a credible threat, however, officials told parents they will have more police and security in place for the next few weeks.