Photo Appears To Show Two White Students Holding Black Girl On Leashes

The school is defending the controversial photo, claiming the leashes were “tethering straps” Pilgrim used to teach their toddlers how to walk.



The Mitchell Elementary School in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, is under intense fire after a photo appearing to show two white students in Colonial-era costumes holding a young black classmate on leashes began making rounds on the social media.

The controversial photo, which also included an adult dressed as a Pilgrim smiling into the camera, featured the African American student kneeling down in front of the group with what seemed like two leashes attached to her.

Apparently, a teacher from the school sent out the photo, drawing ire of parents repulsed by the image that looked more or less like a reenactment of slavery. Soon, the picture was posted on Facebook where it was shared at least 10,000 times before the person who posted it, online user Monica Cannon-Grant, made it private.

The internet, as expected, erupted in fury:






Well, as it turns out, the school is defending the picture, claiming it is not racist. Providing some much-needed context to an otherwise disturbing photo, the school said the photo was taken during a third-grade visit to the Plimoth Plantation, a history museum in Plymouth, where actors recreate the Pilgrim experience for visitors.

Apparently, some students also decided to dress up and the leashes were, in fact, “tethering straps” Pilgrim used on their toddlers to “teach them how to walk.”

Bridgewater-Raynham Regional School District Superintendent Derek J. Swenson also released a statement, clarifying the school’s position.


A woman, who claimed to be the black student’s mother, also released a statement.

“My daughter said they asked for someone to volunteer as a baby and she did,” she said. “And it was the pilgrim lady's idea for her to kneel on the floor and the others to hold the leash.”

It is quite amazing how a teacher decided to circulate the photo without providing any background, completing overseeing how it came across as a racially charged classroom project portraying slavery.

Thumbnail/Banner: Pixabay, StockSnap

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