SANTA YNEZ, Calif. - Members of the Santa Ynez Valley community is commenting on the painting of a swastika at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School.
The incident happened the weekend of December 7.
St. Mark's in the Valley Episcopal Church sent out a statement about the painting, condemning hate in all forms.
The statement reads:
While any vandalism damages the fabric of our community, expressions of hate threaten to tear it apart.
Anti-Semitic symbols have no place in Santa Barbara County or in the Santa Ynez Valley. Not here, not now, not ever. We condemn all acts of anti-Semitism, all forms of bigotry, bullying, and hate.
It is incongruous that such a symbol would appear on the campus of Santa Ynez Valley Union High School, which focuses on and promotes educating students to live in our multi-cultural region and world, with people from many racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds.
The use of such a harmful symbol as the swastika, which represents a genocidal attack on the Jewish people, is an act of aggression and hate that has no place in our vibrant, diverse, and welcoming community. Local teachers, parents, and community leaders need to build awareness of the oppression of and violence against Jewish people worldwide and ensure that acts like this never happen here again.
This is an opportunity for us to affirm that our Santa Ynez Valley is a safe and inclusive community, where all people are welcome and images and actions like this are not acceptable. We come together to say our community is better than this and to wish all of you a holiday season filled with love and joy.
The statement was backed the following local leaders.
- Supervisor Joan Hartmann, Santa Barbara County, Third District
- Mayor Holly Sierra, Mayor of Buellton
- Mayor Ryan Toussaint, Mayor of Solvang
- Superintendent Scott Cory, Santa Ynez Valley Union High School District
- Rabbi, Dr. Oren Postrel, Santa Ynez Valley Jewish Community
- Susie Margolis Pierson, President, Santa Ynez Valley Jewish Community
- Kenneth Kahn, Tribal Chairman, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians
- The Rev. Chris Brown, Bethania Lutheran Church
- The Rev. Randall Day, St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church
- Fr. Bobby Barbato, OFM Cap, Pastor, Old Mission Santa Inés
- Dean Palius, CEO, Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People
- Mary Conway, Director, Santa Ynez Valley Youth Coalition
- Nancy Englander and Shawn Addison, Co-Chairs, Inclusion SYV
- Daniel Meisel, Regional Director, ADL Tri-Counties (Anti-Defamation League)