La Jolla High apologizes for cartoon depicting ‘ugly racial stereotypes’

LA JOLLA, Calif. -- The principal of La Jolla High School issued an apology after a controversial cartoon was published in the school’s newspaper.

The principal of La Jolla High School issued an apology after a controversial cartoon was published in the school’s newspaper.

In a letter sent to students and parents Thursday, Principal Chuck Podhorsky said the decision to publish the cartoon was an “error in judgment and a breach of all the values we hold dear at La Jolla High School.”

The cartoon depicted multiple ethnic groups with their features exaggerated based on "ugly racial stereotypes," according to Podhorsky.

Many students described the cartoon, published last month in the school’s "Hi-Tide" newspaper, as racist and offensive.

A student told FOX 5 the cartoon was a satirical response to an H&M ad that drew accusations of racism.

“It could have been taken out of context and been offensive, but I don’t think that was the students’ intentions,” Nathan Hacker said. “I know there are limitations when it comes to school freedom of speech, so I understand that. Hopefully, it will be on them and us as a community -- the school, the students -- to come together and realize this isn’t who we are and this isn’t who we want to portray ourselves as.”

One student told FOX 5 she was offended by the cartoon and was glad the principal sent a letter of apology.

“I don’t think they realized they would cause this big of an uproar but I think -- hopefully, at least -- they’re regretting what they put,” student Maya Schultz said.