SHORELINE, Wash. – A picture of a white female Shorewood High School student with a bad tan and the cutline “do you think this is my color” caused so much racial strife the district is putting stickers over the image.
Officials with the Shoreline School District issued a formal apology for the yearbook photo of a pouting white teen with a dark, obviously fake complexion after the image circulated on social media and offended many people. Some claim the picture resembles blackface, and the backlash against the teen has been relentless, King 5 reports.
“There have been some pretty mean comments. Some people have actually been telling her to go kill herself,” junior Case Macklin told the news site.
“I know she didn’t mean it to be offensive,” Macklin told KREM 2. “She didn’t mean blackface like in an offensive way, she just meant it like she had a bad tan.”
“She was just snapchatting back and forth with her friend and put a whole bunch of Claire’s bronzer on,” said junior Trevor Corwin. “It wasn’t meant to be offensive.”
In fact, the student herself took to Twitter to clear the air. She explained she wasn’t being racist, but poking fun at her own bad tan from the salon and apologized. It didn’t matter, her comments only drew more scorn.
“Nah it ain’t your color STOP DOING BLACKFACE,” wrote a Twitter poster NaQuelBy10o, according to the New York Daily News.
“UR ONLY SORRY BOUT THE PIC CAUS UR ASS GOT CALLED OUT ON IT, WHY WOULD U EVEN BE OK WIT PUTTING THAT IN A YEARBOOK?” amir-uh tweeted.
Ku-Reem posted “The cracker race strikes again,” and ChrisB. tweeted that the backlash and apology “is like poking a bear then crying and getting mad when it bites you.”
“What you did was wrong so just own up to it,” queen ivy wrote.
The controversy prompted the school district to take action, but not to stop the online harassment.
Instead, officials apologized for the yearbook image, and stopped handing out the yearbooks. They ultimately decided to put some sort of sticker of the image in the remaining yearbooks, and announced that students offended by the picture can pick up a sticker to put over it, King 5 reports.
“It’s clearly hurtful,” Shoreline schools spokesman Craig Degginger told the news site. “That image should not have been included in the Shorewood High School yearbook.”
The district now plans to investigate how the image got past two adult yearbook advisors.
Nearly everyone who commented on the King 5 story thought the whole issue was preposterous.
“I’m so sick of political correctness. Oh your feelings are hurt. Oh my God, how terrible. Let’s put a sticker over it. Jesus Christ!! Grow up!” Joe Molitor posted.
“Are you serious? Orange is racist? The girl is orange, are Oompa Loompa offended?” Katie Wynn wrote. “Wow. Shorewood you guys need a reality check.”
“OMG look up the definition of ‘black face.’ Clearly, that’s not what this girl is doing! Get off the freakin Victim Train peeps! You’re not a victim of anything,” Cindy Russell commented. “Quit whining. Sheesh. Sick of this bull crap.”
Tim Richards believes district officials owe the student in the picture an apology.
“Seriously? Please introduce … the person who has been hurt by seeing a kid who was just being silly putting on tanning makeup!” he wrote. “The only person owed an apology is the girl pictured – by every adult that didn’t immediately jump to her defense and every ‘news’ organization that has stoked this zero story and humiliated her.”