- (Photo: Flickr / srqpix)
The discovery of a peace sign design inside the pages of a Dutch Christian school planner has led to the administration sending the 3,000 books to the shredder.
After a parent complained that one of the students on the cover of the planner was wearing a peace sign, Pieter Zandt Scholengemeenschap administrators did a Google search and concluded that the symbol's connotations were anti-Christian.
School board chairman Johan Van Puten told Dutch newspaper, Trouw, that according to his research, in the Roman era the peace symbol was actually a "Nero cross" representing the torture and persecution of Christians. He also noted that in the 1970's many Christians claimed the sign had cultish ties and was associated with Satanists.
Van Puten explained that parental sentiments drove his decision to recall the planners and create new ones without the symbol.
"The conviction of the parents that the symbol was unacceptable was so strong that I knew a rigorous approach was the only solution," Van Puten told Trouw.
The decision to shred the planners has cost the school the $20,000 it spent on the books, in addition to the cost of purchasing new ones. However, Van Putin argued that creating new planners "was the lesser of two evils."
The modern day peace symbol was designed by English designer Gerald Holtom in 1958 for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
Pieter Zandt Scholengemeenschap students are normally given input into the design of their planners that include a calendar, jokes and Bible verses. The administration, however, forbids references to pop culture, including music, celebrities, fashions and cartoons.