Bridgewater school apologizes for photo which appears to be a black child on a leash

Authentic Pilgrim garb is to blame

Boston's Morning Show with Kim & VB
October 20, 2017 - 7:02 am

A presentation by the Plimouth Plantation at Mitchell Elementary school has led to an apology from the Bridgewater Raynham school district.

In the presentation, a teacher asked for volunteers to wear "traditional pilgrim garb". One piece of the clothing was a harness like outfit which the pilgrims used to help toddlers learn how to walk. The teacher insists that she did not think anything of it when a young black girl volunteered to put on the costume. 

Unfortunately, the photo which was taken looks more like the young girl was on a leash. The photo, which made its way around the internet yesterday caused outrage among people who didn't know why the little girl was on a leash.

Superintendent Derek Swenson released a statement on the photo, saying “We realize without context added to the photo that was shared by the classroom teacher it could be perceived differently." 

The full statement reads as follows:

“The photo in question can clearly be explained. It captures a moment in a classroom visit where one of Plimoth Plantation’s Living History Educators who visited a third grade class is sharing highlights of life in the 17th century.

As shown in the image, the infant is wearing a gown which is commonly known as leading strings. In 17th-century Europe this was a common clothing item, which was used to help keep toddlers safe while they were learning to walk.

This educational content is something that is presented in many of Plimoth Plantation’s classroom visits. We apologize for any misconceptions that this may have caused. It was never this Museum’s intent to treat any one person or group with disrespect.”



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