Museum Of Fine Arts In Boston Responds To Racism Claims
After a group of black middle schoolers was racially profiled on a field trip, a local museum is issuing a response.
The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston said it revoked memberships from two visitors and banned them from the museum’s grounds after a teacher said her students were racially profiled during a recent class trip, reports NBC News.
Marvelyne Lamy, a teacher at Helen Y Davis Leadership Academy in Dorchester, Massachusetts, wrote a Facebook post detailing comments made by museum patrons and a tour guide. According to Lamy, a group of 30 or so more seventh-graders was with her at the museum when a tour guide told the children, “no food, no drink, and no watermelon” after they entered the building.
Later Lamy claims one of her female students was told by a visitor; “It’s a shame that you’re not learning and instead stripping,” as the child danced to music playing in the exhibit.
She also adds that they were trailed by security throughout the museum and berated.
“We were instructed not to touch any of the artifacts in the museum, yet the white students there touched the displays several times while security looked on without saying anything. The minute one of our students followed suit, the security guards would yell at them that they should not touch exhibits. Throughout our walk through, they followed us. Many of our students grew agitated.
At the end, we went through the gender bending exhibit where the security guard followed our every movement. It got so bad that I started gathering our students so we could leave. I was pulling one of my students to come out the exhibit, when she said that one of the visitors made a comment towards her when she was dancing to music included in the exhibit. The visitor said that’s it’s a shame that she is not learning and instead stripping. That’s when I had it. I told them we are leaving right now.”
“As we were walking out, our students were standing in the doorway of the Africa exhibit. We had them clear out the doorway so people could pass by. This lady walks by and says, “Never mind there’s f****g black kids in the way.” And ironically she says this in the African exhibit.
The museum said in a May 24 message on its website that it looked into the complaints and indeed found two instances of two of its patrons making “racist comments” to students.
“We have identified the patrons who made the disparaging remarks and revoked their memberships, banning them from the Museum’s grounds,” the museum stated. “We will serve them with a no-trespass cease-and-desist notification.”
The Museum of Fine Arts also added that all front-line staff will receive additional training on “how to engage with incoming school groups about policies and guidelines.”