Salem students yearbook drawing gets rejected after school distr - KPTV - FOX 12

Salem students yearbook drawing gets rejected after school district says it was 'racist'

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A 13-year-old Salem girls drawing was chosen to grace the cover of her school's yearbook but was retracted after schools officials said it was offensive.

Auzeen Seiffert drew the controversial picture over a year ago. She said the drawing was based on the theme, 'life is sweet.'

The picture showed striped trees and lollipops coming from the grass in the background, but at the forefront, the drawing showed one dark-skinned character giving a piggy back ride to a light-skinned character.

According to Auzeen, the picture was scanned and the colors appeared darker.

"I like drawing, it's literally the only thing I do," said Auzeen. "They're just made up characters, it didn't mean anything."

Auzeen's mom, Sepideh, said her daughter is not racist and she has dozens of sketch books to prove it. Sepideh said Auzeen's characters are of all shapes and sizes, and even colors.

"They didn't give her a chance to explain, they didn't ask her opinion or what she meant by it. And it makes me really upset," said Sepideh.

Salem-Keizer School District officials commented saying, "There was worry that it might be misinterpreted. We try to make sure when conveying something to the community that it be the most respectful to the widest audience."

Auzeen's brother, Shaheen, said everyone he knew loved her picture. He said he's received dozens of supportive comments on social media after he posted the picture of the drawing. 

According to Shaheen, the district made a big deal over nothing.

"By the school district saying this is offensive, they made it offensive," said Shaheen.

Auzeen said that despite criticism from the school district, she's determined to make the cover on her own terms.

"I hear that it was going to be a plain jaguar cover but when I get my yearbook, I was thinking of ripping off that cover and then replacing it [with mine]," said Auzeen.

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