Boston's Museum of Fine Arts Bans 2 Visitors After Racist Incident

Boston's Museum of Fine Arts has banned two visitors after a group of middle school students said it was subjected to racism during a field trip.

Museum officials apologized to students and staff at Dorchester's Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy in a letter posted on their website Wednesday. The museum acknowledged "a range of challenging and unacceptable experiences that made them feel unwelcome."

Friday, officials announced that two patrons they say made disparaging remarks to those students on two separate occasions on May 16 had been banned from the grounds of the museum.

"We went about our investigation, which included kind of reenacting their visit, including getting camera footage from the various places they described," said Katie Getchell of the MFA.

Museum officials apologized to the student and staff. Teacher Marvelyne Lamy said she does not accept it.

"Their apology comes after pressure from the media," Lamy said. "Their apology comes after pressure from Facebook posts."

According to Lamy, a museum staff member told the students "no food, no drink and no watermelon." The MFA said Friday that the employee claimed to have said "no food, no drink and no water bottles."

"There is no way to definitively confirm or deny what was said or heard in the galleries," the museum said in a statement. "Regardless, the MFA is committed to providing additional training for all frontline staff on how to engage with incoming school groups about policies and guidelines."

"You can do all the retraining in the world, but ignorance is ignorance," Lamy said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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