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Parent Who Took Controversial Baraboo Photo Says Shot Was Ill-Timed

Baraboo School District Investigating Photo Of Boys Giving Nazi Salute

Group of Baraboo High School boys giving Nazi salute
A screenshot taken Monday, Nov. 12, 2018 of a tweet from Jules Suzdaltsev that shares the image of the group of Baraboo High School boys giving the Nazi salute.

A parent who took a photo that shows about 60 Wisconsin high school boys giving what appears to be a Nazi salute says he simply asked the youths to wave goodbye to their parents and that he takes the blame for the timing of the shot.

Pete Gust, whose son appears in the photo, said there was no intention “in any way, shape or form to simulate anything that was offensive to anyone.” Gust told The Associated Press that the boys’ arms were extended in various stages of being raised when the shot was taken.

Gust posted the photo on his website, Wheels Memories, after he took the pre-prom shot on the steps of the Sauk County Courthouse in Baraboo in May. The photo circulated on social media this week, drawing strong rebukes from individuals and organizations across Wisconsin and the United States. Gust has since removed the photo and apologized to all who were hurt by it, writing “To anyone that was hurt I sincerely apologize.”

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The Baraboo School District and police are investigating the photo.

Speakers at the Baraboo School Board meeting Monday night expressed anger over the photo. Some at the Baraboo School Board meeting Monday night suggested the students should be better educated so they understand the gravity of the image and what it symbolizes.

One attendee, Greg Sacra, told the board he grew up knowing that Nazism was wrong and that he doesn’t understand how the Baraboo students in the photo don’t know that too. He suggests they need extra education about the Holocaust.