British schools see racism everywhere

British schools are turning playground spats and jokes into racial incidents, complains a report, The Myth of Racist Kids, by Manifesto Club, a civil liberties group. From the Telegraph:

Primary school pupils and toddlers in nurseries are being punished for making racist insults, according to a report, even if they don’t understand the terms they use.

. . . Meanwhile diversity “missionaries” are said to be increasing the divide between white and black children by forcing them to see everything through the prism of race.

“There are a small number of cases of sustained targeted bullying, and schools certainly need to deal with those,” says Adrian Hart, the report’s author.  “But most of these ‘racist incidents’ are just kids falling out. They don’t need re-educating out of their prejudice – they and their teachers need to be left alone.”

In 2002, schools were told to report all racist incidents.  Teachers must fill out a form naming the “the alleged perpetrator and victim, and spell out what they did and how they were punished. ”

Schools that report no incidents are criticised for “under-reporting” and told to put up posters raising awareness, the report says.  Schools that report high numbers of racist incidents are praised for operating a “zero-tolerance” approach.

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  1. As a teacher at an English comprehensive school on the outskirts of London, I agree completely with the statements made in this post- although the title is perhaps slightly inflammatory.

    Yes,there are of course instances when students are deliberately and persistently persecuting others due to the colour of their skin. This sort of thing needs to be dealt with seriously.

    The opposite is also true, namely that so-called racist incidents are often no more than kids being kids, calling each other names they barely comprehend in the heat of silly arguments because thay can’t think of a decent insult to throw back.

  2. Zero tolerance anything is mostly CYA and BS. It operates purely in reactionary mode and has been used to justify some pretty outrageous responses to minor incidents. On the other hand–when kids reach for an insult and land on something prejudicially hurtful, it’s time to recognize the teachable moment to understand what’s wrong with the n word or any of the lovely euphemisms for homosexuality or a whole lot of other things that they have heard and picked up. Otherwise, what they know is that the insult works for the purpose for which they intended it–which was getting back at or otherwise slinging at someone in anger or an attempt at getting over for other purposes.

    Beyond that–we do need to recognize that racism is in fact everywhere–not due to individual prejudice, which is not absent by any means, but because the goods and opportunities of society are still inequitably distributed based on race.

  3. Complete and utter BS. You want to see a dyed in the wool racist then look in the mirror.

  4. The British have gone completely mental. Heaven help them.

  5. Margo/Mom hits it on the head again! Racism must be dealt with, but calling every altercation or incident racist is very “boy who cried wolf.”

  6. John Drake says:

    Yes. Margo/Mom has been hit on the head again.

  7. I think Margo/Mom hit the nail *with* her head.

    The self-serving nature of much of the hand-wringing about racism is evident to everyone except those who are bitterly disappointed that they missed the 1960s so *they* couldn’t march across the bridge from Selma.

    Time to wake up and smell the new century oh mighty warriors against injustices past. There are black governors, mayors, sheriffs, U.S. reps and Senators and, just in case someone missed the event, a black guy in the White House.

    Big deal.

    As someone once observed there are more important qualities on which to judge a person then the color of their skin.

  8. Richard Aubrey says:

    More racist incidents, more jobs for racist incident inspectors.
    Be a shame if racism disappeared, wouldn’t it?

  9. Bill Leonard says:

    By golly, Richard, I believe you’re onto something here!

    I have noticed, for instance, that in spite of 45 years of Great Society programs that have cost God-knows how many trillions of dollars, the percentage of those “in poverty” has remained roughly constant (although the actual numbers are far greater than in 1965 because the population has grown considerably since then.)

    Can that be because the “in poverty” nosecount always is conducted by those who are paid to handle welfare caseloads? Nothing’s better than full employment for government bureaucrats…

  10. Richard Aubrey says:

    I’ve heard it said–no way to verify–that many or most of the poor now are immigrants who showed up with little or no employability.
    Figure the left end of the bell curve measuring income.
    Figure a vertical line at $20,000 as the poverty level for a family of four (hypothetical).
    Why not–sob–move that up to $21,000? It’s only a thousand dollars, and just because the family is a buck or two over the $20,000 doesn’t mean they aren’t desperate.
    So that move picks up a certain number of new poor.
    Work that up to $25,000 with the same sobbing.
    Now, going to $26,000. Picks up a lot more people, doesn’t it?

  11. I have been explaining to the staff at my sons school that the racism levels are appaling: My son who is white British has been subject to race remarks since day one: The Children organise black v white games at school and ridiclue each other and over race / skin colour. the school seem oblivious and I am pulling my hair out that they can spend thousands on a swimming pool when race fights are being organised at the school gates with weapons included: why oh why do they not spend some money on organising some group sessions that entail race issues and try to integrate these children.


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