The off-putting image shows the black child kneeling while the white children grasp a pair of tethering straps.
According to CBSBoston, administrators at Mitchell Elementary School in Bridgewater have been forced to explain the picture that was supposed to depict children portraying pilgrims - but with the black girl looking like a slave. "It's clearly what it looks like, it's disgusting".
A MA school district has apologized for a photo taken in a classroom that shows two white children holding leashes attached to a black child.
The photo went viral after being posted to Facebook early Thursday, racking up more than 8,000 shares within hours.
Through our investigation, it was explained by the Director of Education from Plimoth Plantation that a portion of the lesson focused on 17th-century attire - particularly garments worn by parents, children, toddlers and infants.
The event was an enrichment program to learn about the pilgrims, and the girl had volunteered.
Bridgewater school officials apologized for this controversial photo.
Was the girl supposed to have been refused participation because of her skin color? "The district sincerely apologizes to students, staff and the community for this unfortunate incident".
Swenson said the school district understands why the photo could be perceived differently.
According to school Superintendent Derek Swenson, "It was never the intent of the lesson to demean or degrade any one person or group".
The kids had been demonstrating the clothing as part of a presentation, focusing on an article of clothing called a leading strings which was used to help children to keep safe as they learned to walk. "We are deeply saddened by this, as our museum's educational mission is to provide fun and engaging encounters with the history of the 17th-century Atlantic world".
The third-grade teacher later shared a photo of the lesson, showing a white adult and two white children standing up in costume. "It was never this Museum's intent to treat any one person or group with disrespect".