Newport councilman to sponsor school field trip to Museum of Tolerance after Nazi images at student party

The Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles includes the Museum of Tolerance and a research institute.
(File Photo / AP)

A Newport Beach city councilman wants to provide the money to send local high school students to the Museum of Tolerance as a teaching moment in the wake of anti-Semitic imagery at a recent off-campus party.

Councilman Kevin Muldoon said Tuesday that he plans to direct $6,000 — the full amount of his annual city allotment for discretionary neighborhood grants — to Newport Harbor High School for a field trip to the Los Angeles museum, which examines racism and prejudice of all kinds worldwide, with a focus on the Holocaust.

“I don’t think getting angry at each other is a solution,” said Muldoon, who said he would like to join the students on their trip. “I think talking and learning together is a solution.”

Muldoon’s donation is enough to send as many as 570 students to the museum.

Students have said the March 2 house party in Costa Mesa included teenagers from Newport Harbor, Costa Mesa and Estancia high schools. Pictures posted to social media showed some students flashing Nazi salutes over a swastika made of plastic drinking cups.

The incident roiled the community and led last week to two public forums in Newport Beach, a vigil in Costa Mesa and a private meeting between students involved in the party and Holocaust survivor Eva Schloss, stepsister and childhood friend of diarist Anne Frank.

Last weekend, someone vandalized Newport Harbor High with several small posters with Nazi themes.

On Tuesday, the Newport-Mesa Unified School District pledged to create a task force meant to combat hate and promote inclusivity.