The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston admits it has some work to do after a middle school teacher complained that her students—who she notes are "all black and brown"—were racially profiled and mistreated by other visitors. Marvelyne Lamy of Davis Leadership Academy in nearby Dorchester took 26 seventh-grade students on a field trip to the museum on May 16, reports ABC News. As she later wrote on Facebook, a staff member told the students "no food, no drink, and no watermelon," before a security guard "followed our every movement," though no other groups were followed. As one of her students danced to the music playing in another exhibit, a museumgoer told the girl "it's a shame that she is not learning and instead stripping."
Lamy says a woman also complained, "these effing black kids are in the way." Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has since referred to the comments as "incredibly disturbing." Lamy says staff offered tickets to the museum but did not apologize when she brought up the issue. The museum did apologize Wednesday for a "range of challenging and unacceptable experiences that made [the students] feel unwelcome" in an open letter signed by seven executives. "That is not who we are or want to be," it reads. "We ... commit to using this situation as an opportunity to learn and create a culture of unwavering inclusion." The incident comes as the museum has been seeking more diversity among its visitors, almost 80% of whom were white in 2015. "But as this incident shows, it's not always getting more people of color in the door that's the problem," per WBUR. (Read more racial profiling stories.)