FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - A student's drawing of a Jewish man has been called anti-Semitic, but her father tells FOX 5 it is being interpreted without proper context.
The artwork was on display at Northern Virginia Community College until March 22 after she won a national art contest for the drawing and others in a series. The individual drawing has garnered complaints from several community members who are offended by the student's depiction, which was on display on its own and without the artist's caption.
It shows an older man with an enlarged nose and a money bag at his feet and has the words "Jewish People" written on it.
FOX 5 is not identifying the student or her father, but he spoke to FOX 5 on the phone about his daughter's artwork. The teen's father says the series was meant to point out the irony and problems with racial and religous stereotypes.
The controversy prompted an apology from Fairfax County Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Brabrand.
FCPS says it will review procedures surrounding student art in the future.
"As part of our response, we will be re-examining our process for submissions to this contest and reinforcing with our art teachers the need for cultural awareness and responsiveness along with the importance of emphasizing those skills with their students," a statement provided to FOX 5 read.
The school district is also investigating how the student's art teacher responded to a concerned citizen, a D.C. rabbi who e-mailed the teacher and expressed his disappointment in the artwork.
The teacher responded in part, "She is pointing out how racism and ugliness is now NORMALIZED by our current president who intends to divide our nation for his own personal gain."
An FCPS spokesman says the teacher's response is being handled as a personnel matter.