How to Tackle Racism at School
Learning Support Magazine spoke to Show Racism the Red Card. Their latest issue offers advice to Teaching Assistants on responding to racism
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Racism is still rife in schools and causes immense damage to young people.
Learning Support is a professional magazine for Teaching Assistants and has featured an indepth article addressing the importance of responding appropriately to racist incidents.
Caroline Roberts spoke to Sarah Soyei, Regional Manager at Show Racism the Red Card:
“Working with children and explaining why [racist words are] wrong is much more powerful than just saying, "that language is unacceptable in our school. It can be helpful to talk about how racist language has been used historically to hurt people.
"Often teachers say the children don’t mean it, or don’t know it’s racist. But when I asked children if they would use the word ‘chinky’ to the people in the restaurant, they say no. They do know it’s a term they shouldn’t use.”
In addition to tackling racist behaviour and comments, it’s also important to create a school environment that promotes understanding of, and respect for, different cultures. Sarah adds:
"This is equally important for schools in areas where there are few children from minority ethnic groups. Children in all-white areas can take on board stereotypes as they don’t have anything from their own experience to draw on. Later on they may move away and end up living and working alongside people from other cultures so they need to be prepared for this."
Read the article in full: Learning Support, Sep-Oct 2011 (PDF document)
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Thank you to Caroline Roberts for this piece