Baraboo residents discuss future after controversial photo

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BARABOO, Wis. (WMTV) - Baraboo residents gathered at a meeting on Thursday to take on a difficult discussion about hate and inclusion within their community.

The conversation was sparked by a viral photo of a group of Baraboo High School students giving what appears to be a Nazi salute.

The meeting is meant to the first step in finding a plan that will help the community learn, heal and move forward.

"I'm concerned for the future of Baraboo - what this means,” said Peter Bildsten, a Baraboo resident. “We have to resolve this and we have a long way to go - from the schools, to the community to the business district. There's a lot to be worked out.”

Attendees started with an activity asking people to write three things they'd like to see happen. Topics ranged from education, accountability to restorative justice.

Many who came out to the meeting looked at the gathering as an opportunity, saying a problem has been brought to light and now they're working to fix it.

One attendee said they wish there were more students in attendance at the meeting.

A student there said her classmates should be held accountable, and apologize for what happened.

Others said these students need protection from people who are now threatening them.

At the end of the forum Baraboo Mayor Michael Palm said he was proud of the work accomplished at the meeting.

The community will have another meeting on Monday, Nov. 19. The mayor, a rabbi and school district officials will be there to make remarks.