The Latest: Photographer: Controversial photo ill-timed shot
BARABOO, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on the photo of Wisconsin high school boys giving what appears to be a Nazi salute (all times local):
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 Matthew appears in the photo, says there was no intention “in any way, shape or form to simulate anything that was offensive to anyone.” Gust tells 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 online and from Jewish organizations. Gust has since removed the photo and apologized to all who were hurt by it.
Speakers at a Wisconsin school board meeting have expressed anger over a photo that shows about 60 high school boys giving what appears to be a Nazi salute.
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.
The pre-prom photo of the boys taken on the steps of the Sauk County Courthouse in May has been shared widely on social media in recent days, prompting a strong rebuke from individuals and organizations.
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.
The photographer who took a picture of boys from Baraboo High School giving what appears to be a Nazi salute says he simply asked the students to wave goodbye to their parents.
Pete Gust told community journalism website Madison 365 that the pre-prom photo, which has been shared widely on social media, was innocent. He says he asked the boys to give him a “high five” for the photo taken in May on the steps of the Sauk County Courthouse in downtown Baraboo, about 115 miles (185 kilometers) northwest of Milwaukee.
Gust has removed the photo from his website, Wheel Memories, where it had been posted since May, and wrote “To anyone that was hurt I sincerely apologize.”
The Baraboo School District and police are investigating the photo.