Racism is when people are treated differently because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin.
It can be...
- physical, verbal, written
- racist jokes and teasing
- activities/ games which are not open to everyone
- bringing racist material into schools
- wearing racist symbols or clothing
- getting others to behave in a racist way
- refusal to co-operate with other people
- racist comments in class discussions
Why is racist bullying different?
Prejudice related bullying (like racist and homophobic bullying) can hurt more deeply because it targets the person’s core identity and values which cannot be changed. This can lead children to develop a negative self-identity. It doesn’t only target the person as an individual but as a representative of their whole community. This makes it much more difficult for children to challenge by themselves.
‘When they call me Paki, It’s not just me they’re hurting. It’s all my family and all other black people too’
(nine year old, Sereena)
What should I do if my child is on the receiving end?
- Don’t make light of it - they need to feel supported and listened to
- Encourage pride in their identity
- Find out what policies and procedures for reporting and dealing with racist bullying are in place at your school
A third of students reported hurtful name calling and verbal abuse either at school or on the school journey. More than 16% reported that this was persistent.
What should I do if my child behaves in a racist way?
Don’t ignore it - they might think that there is nothing wrong with their behaviour
Explain why all bullying is wrong and encourage them to accept responsibility for the effect it has on people
Look at why they are using this behaviour. It may be a sign of other worries such as territory, identity or feeling pushed out.
Remember racism is not wrong because the law says so but because racism is wrong.