The Museum of Fine Arts announced Wednesday that it is hiring a law firm to conduct an investigation into the allegations that students of color from a Boston middle school were subjected to racist comments and harassment during a class trip to the institution in May.
The probe will be led by former attorney general for Massachusetts Scott Harshbarger, from the Boston-based Casner & Edwards LLP, according to a statement from the MFA. The investigation will start immediately and will cover the museum’s own internal examination and handling of the May 16 incidents.
“The Museum had announced the findings of its own investigation on May 24, 2019,” the MFA said Wednesday. “In the ensuing weeks, we continued discussion with our Boards of Trustees and Advisors, community leaders, and other engaged constituencies. We came to the decision that an investigation by an external party could provide greater objectivity and clarity. We look forward to their report and sharing what we learn with the MFA community and public.”
The museum has issued a public apology to the Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy and revoked the membership of two visitors found to be involved in making racist comments to the seventh-grade students. The MFA has said additional steps, including expanded training for museum staff, are also being taken.