A group of 11 students from a Brazilian high school displayed the Hitler salute in support of their fellow classmate who was running for class representative, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported.
Students aged 16 to 17, enrolled at Saint Mary School in Recife, a private school in northeastern Brazil, stretched out their arms during a lesson, mimicking the gesture the Nazis used to show support for leader Adolf Hitler.
The photo was published on Instagram on Wednesday with a message containing Nazi-related terms such as "Aryan" and "Fourth Reich," according to daily newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo and other Brazilian media reports.
"He promises to be the new Fuehrer for the establishment of a new Reich," said the publication.
On Thursday, the school principal summoned the students who were involved, gave them a one-week suspension and spoke to the parents as well. The Instagram account where the photo was posted has since been deleted.
"We apologize to everyone who has been offended," the facility's management said in a statement.
"Our school does not tolerate any behavior which goes against Christian and ethical values and the appreciation of life as well as against respect for races, peoples, and beliefs."
A similar controversy arose in the United States last year after a group of athletes from the Pacifica High School water polo team in Garden Grove, California were caught on camera giving a Hitler salute and singing a German World War II marching song during an award ceremony last year.
The song sung by the Garden Grove athletes was a marching song written by German composer and member of the Nazi party Herms Niel in the 1930s
Originally released in 1938, Niel's song became an instant hit in Germany during the Nazi regime.
The song, titled Erika, referring to both a common German female name and the German word for heather, was adopted by the Wehrmacht armed forces and became unmistakably connected to Nazi times.
The song has had a resurgence in popularity in recent years, especially on anonymous online message boards such as 4chan, where users, notorious for their dark and highly offensive sense of humor and destructive online pranks, were behind numerous online controversies.
Additionally, many remixes and renditions of the song are available on YouTube and have garnered millions of views.
Local school officials said they will launch an investigation into the incident.