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‘We need to pause and reflect’: Baraboo community looking for change after Nazi salute photo

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BARABOO, Wis. (CBS 58) –The Baraboo community is trying to deal with the aftermath following the photo of local high school students appearing to make a Nazi salute. 

A large group of Baraboo community members gathered Thursday night to see how they can move forward after the photo has gained national attention. 

Dozens gathered at the Baraboo Civic Center to talk about healing and how to create change.

“It's scary, it's really scary to see the world's eyes on us,” said Robin Dewalt, Baraboo Resident. “We have an opportunity now to fix it.”

The world is now looking at the small Baraboo community through the lens of the photo of nearly 50 local students appearing to make a Nazi salute.

“Whether it was malicious or not, it happened, the world has seen it and they're going to make their judgement call,” Kelly Dwyer said.

Dwyer said one of the boys in the photo came to her Baraboo home to personally apologize to her.

“The picture looks really bad, and the truth is more nuanced than that, and complicated,” Dwyer said. “The students that I'm closest to are good boys who feel terrible about this and are trying to learn how to make amends.”

Dwyer said she came to the community gathering Thursday night partly because she’s a member of the Jewish faith and believes there needs to be more education.

“The people who know these kids feel that they made a stupid mistake, but they know they're not racist or white supremacists.” Dwyer said. “We need to pause and reflect and change and heal and then we can put it behind us.”

The group will meet again Monday Nov. 26th at 6:30 p.m. at the Baraboo Civic Center. 

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