A Christian school in the Netherlands said it sent about $20,000 worth of student-created literature to the shredder after officials did research on Google and determined that a peace sign was a symbol used by Satanists.
The Dutch daily newspaper Trouwreported this week that for years, the Pieter Zandt Protestant reformatory school has allowed students a say in creating a “diary” that includes a calendar, tips, jokes and Bible scripture. But the strict school does not allow any items that are considered to be debauchery — like pop music, movie stars, fashion and cartoons.
But this year’s project went awry when parents began to complain that one of the students on the cover of the diary was wearing a T-shirt with a peace symbol, which they considered to be linked to the “Antichrist.”
School board chairman Johan Van Puten looked into the history of the peace sign and found that some conservatives and fundamentalist Christians in the 1970s had claimed that it was an anti-Christian symbol.
According to a translation provided by Dutch News, Van Puten told Trouw that “[t]he conviction of the parents that the symbol was unacceptable was so strong that I knew a rigorous approach was the only solution.”
In a letter to the parents of all 3,000 students, Van Puten asked for all of the diaries to be returned so that they could be destroyed.
“This is the Nero cross that stood in Roman times for the prosecution, torture and killing of Christians,” the school board chairman wrote. “Even this symbol in our time been associated with occultism.”
In fact, the peace symbol was created in 1958 by British artist Gerald Holtom as a campaign against nuclear war.
The website Goedgelovig reported that replacing the shredded diaries was expected to cost the school €15,000 — or around $20,000.
“But you have to understand, it was the lesser of two evils,” Van Puten explained in his letter to the parents.
[Photo credit: Woman showing peace symbol T-shirt (shutterstock)]
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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