A strict Protestant school group has destroyed 3,000 specially printed diaries for pupils because they feature a peace sign.
The Pieter Zandt school organisation, which runs secondary schools in Kampen, Staphorst and Urk, recalled the diaries after a complaint from a number of parents, Trouw said.
One picture in the diary featured a pupil wearing a t-shirt with the peace sign, which the parents claim has occult links.
School board chairman Johan van Puten told Trouw that after checking with Google, he found the peace symbol is a ‘Nero cross’ which in Roman times represented the torture and killing of Christians and has now come to be associated with Satanists.
The peace sign was actually designed for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in 1958 by an English designer named Gerald Holtom. However many conservatives and fundamentalist Christians believe it has occult and anti-Christian roots, claims which first surfaced in the 1970s.
Sticking something over the photo was not an option. ‘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 said.
Van Puten told Trouw he realises wasting good paper is a poor example to his pupils. ‘But you have to understand, it was the lesser of two evils,’ he told Trouw.
According to website Goedgelovig, the diary was designed by six pupils. Pownews says replacing the diaries has cost €15,000.