Dreamstime Images

Bridgewater School Apologizes for Racist Photo

White woman with two white children photographed holding leashes attached to African-American girl. Everyone reacts as you would expect them to.

The Howie Carr Show
October 19, 2017 - 6:53 pm
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     The Bridgewater-Raynham Regional School District has put out an apology today. There isn't much debate as to whether the apology was called for due to the obviously ill-judged decision to capture and post the following photograph.

      The photo shows a white woman embracing two white children clenching leashes. The leashes hang down, attached to a young African-American child kneeling in front of the trio. The picture stems from a visit to the school by employees of Plimoth Plantation. The "Pilgrims" were invited to the classroom to educate the children on 17th century life. The "leashes" were actually referred to as "leading strings" by the director of marketing at Plimoth Plantation. Rob Kluin described their purpose as strings that would keep small children safe as they learned to walk. The director also admitted that the photo could be misinterpreted without the important context of the lesson. With that being said, it must also be a terrible coincidence that the small child connected to the leashes happens to be African-American.

The school districts full statement is as follows:

Late Wednesday evening a complaint was received regarding a picture that a teacher shared with the parents of her students regarding a recent enrichment program.

Immediately this morning District and building administrators began an inquiry into the complaint.

On Friday, October 13, the Plimouth [sic> Plantation presented a lesson to third grade students.

Through our investigation, it was explained by the Director of Education from Plimouth [sic> Plantation that a portion of the lesson focused on 17th-century attire - particularly garments worn by parents, children, toddlers and infants.

Specifically, the garment worn by toddlers commonly used tethering straps to assist them when learning to walk.

We realize without this context added to the photo that was shared by the classroom teacher it could be perceived differently.

Please note it was never the intent of the lesson to demean or degrade any one person or group.

The Bridgewater-Raynham Regional School District sincerely apologizes to the students, staff and community at large for this unfortunate incident.

Respectfully, 

Derek J Swenson 

Superintendent

 

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