In this season in which Judaism, Christianity, and many faiths celebrate light and love, we join to condemn an act of hate: the painting of a Nazi swastika on the campus of Santa Ynez Valley Union High School on the weekend of December 7 and 8. 

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. 

This Santa Ynez Valley Community statement is signed by 3rd District county Supervisor Joan Hartmann, Buellton Mayor Holly Sierra, Solvang Mayor Ryan Toussaint, SYVUHS District Superintendent Scott Cory, Rabbi Dr. Oren Postrel of the Santa Ynez Valley Jewish Community, President Susie Margolis Pierson of the Santa Ynez Valley Jewish Community, Tribal Chairman Kenneth Kahn of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, the Rev. Chris Brown of Bethania Lutheran Church, the Rev. Randall Day of St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church, Father Bobby Barbato of Old Mission Santa Inés, CEO Dean Palius of Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People, Director Mary Conway of the Santa Ynez Valley Youth Coalition, Co-chairs Nancy Englander and Shawn Addison of Inclusion SYV, and Regional Director Daniel Meisel of the Tri-Counties Anti-Defamation League. 


If you have an opinion on a local matter, email or send a letter to Raiza Giorgi, P.O. Box 1594 Solvang, CA 93464.