Boston Fine Arts Museum Apologizes To Black Schoolchildren For Staff’s Racist Behavior

Posted On : May 25, 2019


It should have been a memorable school trip exploring the exhibits at The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

But for Marvelyne Lamy’s seventh grade class – from the Davis Leadership Academy in Dorchester – it was memorable for all the wrong reasons. 

The middle school teacher received a public apology from MFA, after she took to social media to claim her students were subjected to racial abuse during a field trip last week.

There Were No White Children In The Class


Marvelyne Lamy says her students had been “racially profiled” during their trip to the museum on May 14.

Lamy says her class was made up entirely by black students and teens of other ethnicities. 

“At the very beginning of the tour, one of the staff gave an overview on what to expect and told the kids no food, no drink, and no watermelon,” Lamy wrote on Facebook.

She claims she was not aware of the “watermelon” comment until the end of the trip.

“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. We were instructed not to touch any of the artifacts in the museum, yet the white students there touched the displays several times. “

Lamy said both she and the students became so uncomfortable they abruptly ended their excursion. 

They Have Apologized


Two days after the troubling incident, the museum finally responded in a letter to the school, which was published to its website on Wednesday.

“Last week, a number of students on an organized visit encountered a range of challenging and unacceptable experiences that made them feel unwelcome,” the museum said.

“That is not who we are or want to be. Our intention is to set the highest of standards, and we are committed to doing the work that it will take to get there.”

Signed by seven executives of the MFA, the letter pledged to launch a full investigation into the incident. 

‘We want to apologize specifically to the students, faculty, and parents of the Davis Leadership Academy. We deeply regret any interactions that led to this outcome and are committed to being a place where all people trust that they will feel safe and treated with respect,’ the letter stated.