Bridgewater: School District Issues Apology After Classroom Photo Prompts Backlash

The Bridgewater-Raynham School District is issuing an apology after a photo caused a backlash on social media.

The photo shows a young black girl on the ground in front of two white students and a white woman with the two white children holding tethers connected to the black girl.

Superintendent Derek Swenson issued a press release saying the photo was taken on October 13 at the Mitchell Elementary School when Plimouth Plantation presented a lesson to third grade students regarding 17th century attire.

Rob Kluin the Marketing & Communications Director for Plimoth Plantation says the child is wearing a gown which is commonly known as leading strings and says it was a common clothing item in 17th-century Europe which was used to help keep toddlers safe while they were learning how to walk.

Swenson says they realize that without this context the photo that was shared by the classroom teacher could be perceived differently but that it was “never the intent of the lesson to demean or degrade any one person or group.”

He went on to say that “The Bridgewater-Raynham Regional School District sincerely apologizes to the students, staff and community at large for this unfortunate incident.”

Kluin echoed that sentiment with a statement saying “We apologize for any misperceptions 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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About Dan McCready

Dan McCready is a South Shore native who’s happy to be back working in his home region. After graduating from Catholic Memorial High School, GO KNIGHTS! Dan attended Suffolk University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Communications. After college Dan worked as a standup comic and actor appearing in several theatrical productions, independent films, and worked as a background extra in films and TV shows including Fever Pitch, Underdog, and Brotherhood while also working as a weekend overnight DJ on Easy 99.1. Eventually Dan began covering the Boston entertainment scene for Production Live Online and, after being bit by the journalism bug, decided to further his studies at Northeastern University, where he earned his master's degree. Since that time Dan has worked across many media platforms for organizations including the Patriot Ledger, Cape Cod Broadcasting, and 1420 WBSM in New Bedford. Dan is currently residing in Milton and enjoys hanging out with friends, candlepin bowling, playing video games, and making videos for his fledgling YouTube Channel.