Conservative club photo sparks controversy at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School

Conservatives on Campus yearbook...

SANTA YNEZ, Calif. - Santa Ynez Valley Union High School District school board member Dr. John Baeke received a standing ovation from members of the audience after he read a statement in support of students who posed for a controversial photo.

John Baeke held up a copy of the photo that has been shared on social media.

The group picture was intended to be the Conservatives on Campus yearbook photo.

When the school sanctioned club took the photo on campus an unnamed mother complained. She told school officials she was offended. 

The photo in question shows students wearing political shirts and hats and making similar hand gestures.

Some people call the gesture a symbol of white power, while others consider the gesture part of a harmless "Circle Game,"

Dr. Baeke claims educators over-reacted

"One teacher even threatened to revoke private college letters of recommendation," said Baeke.

Supporters of the students showed the hand gesture in photos of President Trump and prior Santa Ynez Valley High School yearbook photos.

Diane Mazur said, "I'm from the old school of years ago, we used to give that sign, that is meant to say A-okay." 

Michele de Werd said, 'They need better leadership, I think the school's reputation has been compromised, the students deserve a lot better."

No one spoke out publicly against the club photo at Tueday's school board meeting.

After Spring Break school administrators pulled students out of class and discussed the issue.

In an effort not to offend anyone, they asked students to take another yearbook photo.

A new club photo will appear in the 2019 Pirate Revue Yearbook that comes out next month.

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