A classroom image of a black girl on a leash is causing outrage in Bridgewater, IL, but the school administrators say the photo has been taken out of context.
The picture was taken during an enrichment program about Pilgrims but many people feel it looks like the little girl is being enslaved by her white classmates.
“If you look at that picture out of context, what are you going to think. It’s clearly what it looks like, it’s disgusting,” said one parent who asked to not be identified.
The photo has gone viral since it was posted and officials at the school say that the teacher is also the director of education at Plimoth Plantation.
The straps around the girl were called “lead strings” and they were used in the 17th century to keep children from wandering off and to help them learn to walk. The girl herself volunteered to take part.
Andrea St. Clare, a parent of a student said she was so shocked she picked up her child early from school. “It seems like enslavement of a person. Even the color of the child has nothing to do with it,” she stated.
Superintendent Derek Swenson put out a statement saying, “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.”
Many parents feel the situation could have been handled better. “I can’t imagine anyone meant any harm, but the basic fact is someone wasn’t thinking,” said a parent.
The parents of the girl in the photo have met with school administrators. A spokesperson for Plimoth Plantation has also apologized.