SIMI VALLEY — Clothing and jewelry depicting an Iron Cross, a symbol of Nazi Germany that has recently become a popular design with skateboard and clothing manufacturers, has been banned at Simi Valley schools.
About 13,000 letters were mailed to parents Friday informing them of the Simi Valley Unified School District’s decision to ban the symbol officials say is being used by believers of the “white power/white pride” movement to identify themselves.
School officials said the ban was recommended by the Police Department, which considers the Iron Cross a gang symbol. The district dress code specifies “no article of clothing related to a group or gang which may provoke others to acts of violence shall be worn on campus.”
School officials said the step was aimed at capping any rising tensions on campuses.
“We decided to take action because of different rumors circulating at the schools and city that there might be potential problems,” said Don Gaudioso, director of secondary education for the Simi Valley Unified School District.
The Iron Cross has become popular with skateboard and clothing manufacturers, such as No Fear and West Coast Choppers.
According to Gaudioso, a couple of dozen students have been wearing the symbol in Simi Valley and Royal high schools. At Santa Susana High School, he said, the number is considerably less.
This isn’t the first time that Simi Valley high schools have been sites of white supremacist activity. Years ago, students’ lockers were stuffed with literature endorsing white power, said board member Carla Kurachi.