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School district condemns individual for Nazi salute protesting masks at board meeting

An Ohio school district condemned an individual for making a Nazi salute in protest of repeated requests to wear a mask during a board meeting on Monday. 

The Worthington School District issued a statement saying what it witnessed was "unacceptable and not representative of our inclusive community that is Worthington."

"Any Nazi symbolism belittles the horror and the atrocities faced by the Jewish community during the Holocaust," the statement said.

The meeting was paused after several people refused to wear masks and were being disruptive.

According to a local NBC affiliate, board members called for a recess and asked the crowd to wear masks for a second time. That was when the person made the gesture.

Worthington School Board member Sam Shim told The Columbus Dispatch that the meeting was a "hostile environment and the visitors that were there felt their safety was at risk."

"We couldn't have a full board meeting when the board didn't feel safe and the visitors who wanted to do public comments didn't feel safe when people are doing a Nazi salute," Shim said.

The district requires universal indoor masking inside of school properties, regardless of vaccination status.

The school district said the gesture "minimizes the 6 million Jewish lives murdered as well as the 5 million others who were killed by the Nazis."

"Any Nazi symbolism has no place in our community, in our schools, or in our school board meetings," the district said. "In Worthington, we support, affirm and celebrate our diverse community."

This isn't the first time school board meetings have been disrupted over masks mandates. In Tennessee, high school student Grady Knox was heckled by parents while describing the loss of his grandmother while advocating for a mask mandate.