March 20, 2017
While ADL has documented nearly 120 incidents of white supremacist activity at college campuses across the country, racists have turned their attention to another group they want to attract—high school students. Between January and March of this year, there have been four incidents of white supremacists targeting high schools with fliers.
It is not unusual for white supremacists to target young people who have not yet matured and are susceptible to new ideas. The original mission statement of the Traditionalist Youth Network, a largely inactive white supremacist group founded by Matthew Heimbach and Matt Parrott, called for outreach to high school and well as college students.
At least half of the incidents at high schools have occurred in California. One occurred in Georgia and one was in an unidentified location.
- Around March 13, a newly formed white supremacist group named Aryan Underground reportedly posted an anti-Semitic flier at Poly High School in Riverside, California.
- A video posted on YouTube shows an incident that occurred around February 28, where two men passed out “white lives matter” fliers at North High School (the location of the school was not identified and a number of high schools share that name). White supremacist activists have adapted the “white lives matter” slogan in opposition to the black lives matter movement and to promote their racist ideology. The men at the school greeted each white student who exited the school with a raised hand and said, “High five for American pride” and “white lives matter.
- On February 17, more than a dozen fliers from various white supremacist groups were reportedly posted around Pioneer High School in San Jose, California. The fliers contained racist messages and were from Identity Evropa (a California-based group that has been plastering fliers at college campuses around the country), American Renaissance (a group that has launched a flier campaign on its website), The Right Stuff (an anti-Semitic website), and The Daily Stormer (a neo-Nazi website).
- On February 2, during Black History Month, fliers from a Klan group were discovered in the bathroom of Carlton J. Kell High School in Marietta, Georgia. The fliers reportedly included a hotline number to call for information.
While there does not appear to be an influx of high school students in the white supremacist movement, students may still be influenced by groups promoting racist and anti-Semitic ideas. In January 2017, a group of seniors at Cypress Ranch High School in Houston raised their arms in a Nazi salute in a class photo. A student who reportedly witnessed the incident claimed that about 70 students participated and some shouted, “Heil Hitler” and “Heil Trump.” The students who participated in the gesture were later disciplined.