Photo of students performing Nazi salute around makeshift swastika sparks outrage

There was growing controversy Monday over a photo taken at a teenage party depicting Orange County high school students engaging in anti-Semitic behavior.

The photo posted on Twitter, said to be shot at an off-campus party over the weekend, shows red plastic cups arranged to form a swastika with students standing around giving what appears to be a Nazi salute.

At least some of the people pictured are believed to be students at Newport Harbor High School, among other district schools.

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District and the Newport Beach police department were investigating the photo and the party.

An increased police presence could be seen at the Newport Harbor's campus Monday morning.

"I was surprised at first, but then I got really mad because they were saying 'oh it was a joke,'" said freshman Juan Gonzales.

Joan Jimenez, a Junior at Newport Harbor, said he knew some of the students who allegedly attended the party.

"They used names of the people who were posting the pictures. I'm just very disappointed in them," said Jimenez.

District officials said they sent a letter to parents Sunday and issued a statement:

"We were recently made aware of social media postings involving some students who created inappropriate anti-Semitic symbols, and possible underage drinking. While these actions did not occur on any school campus or school function, we condemn all acts of anti-Semitism and hate in all their forms.

We continue to gather information regarding the conduct of these students and work with law enforcement.

We remain focused on educating students on all aspects of life's challenges and are committed to holding students accountable, educating them on the consequences of their choices, and the impact these actions have on our schools and community at large.

We are asking that parents please partner with us in helping students make good decisions, be respectful of others, and to always use good judgment."