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«Bullying in Schools around Racism, Culture and Religion – How to prevent it and what to do when it happens A set of workshop papers, 2007 LIST OF ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

Insted Consultancy

(www.insted.co.uk)

Bullying in Schools around Racism, Culture and

Religion

– How to prevent it

and what to do when it happens

A set of workshop papers, 2007

LIST OF PAPERS

1. A JIGSAW ACTIVITY

2. RACIST BULLYING AND OTHER FORMS OF BULLYING

3. CRITICAL INCIDENTS

4. NOTES ON THE INCIDENTS

5. STARTING POINTS FOR SCHOOL SELF-EVALUATION

6. CLARIFYING TERMS AND CONCEPTS

7. ASPECTS OF LANGUAGE

8. FIVE KEY PRINCIPLES

9. TEACHING ABOUT THE ABOLITION OF SLAVERY

10. SOME CURRENT ISSUES, SPRING 2007 ___________________________________________________________________________

PLEASE NOTE

As a pack, these papers can be downloaded from http://www.insted.co.uk/race28.pdf The papers are derived and developed from DfES advice on countering racist bullying at www.teachernet.gov.uk/racistbullying An article about the DfES advice can be downloaded from http://www.insted.co.uk/classrooms.pdf Workshop paper 1

A JIGSAW ACTIVITY

___________________________________________________________________________

An activity in three stages Stage One: formation of base groups (10 minutes)

Each home group has four members. There are two tasks in this first stage:

• Introduce ourselves to each other

• Allocate ourselves to the four enquiry groups (A, B, C and D) listed and outlined below, with a different member of the base group going to each enquiry group.

Stage Two: enquiry groups (30 minutes) We move from home groups to enquiry groups, so that each home group is represented at each enquiry group, and we follow the agendas set out below. The work is done in small groups, each with either three or four members.

Stage three: reporting back to base (20 minutes) We return to the home groups and each member has five minutes in which to describe the activity and documentation of their enquiry group, and to add their reflections and answer questions.

ENQUIRY GROUP A: RACIST BULLYING AND OTHER BULLYING

Make two lists: (a) what you see as the similarities and (b) what you see as the differences, between racist name-calling and other name-calling. Then compare your own lists with those in Paper 2. If you have time, consider the newspaper editorial cited in Paper 2, and then also the general principles in Paper 8.

ENQUIRY GROUP B: CRITICAL INCIDENTS

Read the stories in Paper 3 and discuss one or more of them in relation to questions suchas:

What should happen next? What should be done to prevent such occurrences happening again? What general principles can be drawn out from such stories? Compare your own reflections with those in Paper 4 and, if you have time, in Papers 8 and 9.

ENQUIRY GROUP C STARTING POINTS FOR SELF-EVALUATION

Schools are required to evaluate the extent to which learners feel safe and adopt safe practices and as part of this are prompted to consider whether learners feel safe from bullying and racist incidents. If you were advising a school on self-evaluation in relation to countering racist bullying, what are the five most important suggestions you would make? Make a list of the five or six most important points. Then compare your own thoughts with the list in Paper

5. Also, look at Paper 8 if you have time.

ENQUIRY GROUP D: CLARIFYING TERMS AND CONCEPTS

Discussions of race and racism are often hampered by the fact that the same word can mean different things to different people, and by fears and feelings around so-called political correctness. Paper 6 consists of pairs of words or phrases and invites discussion of the differences between them, and of the nature of language. Compare your own thoughts with those in Paper 7.

______________________________________________________________

Workshop paper 2

RACIST BULLYING AND OTHER BULLYING

___________________________________________________________________________

Introductory note As mentioned in a recent Ofsted report many staff do not feel confident when dealing with racist incidents. One of the problems is that they do not feel sufficiently clear about how racist name-calling amongst pupils differs from other kinds of name-calling. This paper briefly summarises the features that all kinds of bullying have in common and then lists also the distinctive ways in which racist incidents are different.

Similarities Pupils who are targeted experience great distress. They may become fearful, depressed and lacking in self-confidence, and their progress at school may be severely damaged.

The distress is connected with feelings of being excluded and rejected.

Also, the distress is because a characteristic is picked out as a justification for the bullying that the person attacked can do nothing about – their size, whether they wear glasses, the colour of their hair, the colour of their skin, their religious or cultural background.





Since all kinds of bullying cause distress, all are wrong.

Those who engage in bullying develop a false pride in their own superiority.

Teachers and even parents are sometimes not aware of the miseries that are being inflicted, or of the cruelty that is being perpetrated.

When dealing with incidents, staff must attend to (a) the needs, feelings and wishes of pupils at the receiving end (b) the needs, feelings and wishes of their parents and carers (c) the children and young people principally responsible for the bullying (d) any supporters they have and (e) any bystanders and witnesses.

Differences

Racism has a long history affecting millions of people and is a common feature in wider society. People are seriously harmed and injured by it, and sometimes even viciously attacked and murdered. Words such Spotty, Ginger, Fatty and Four Eyes are seldom used by adults and seldom or never used by adults to justify offensive behaviour.

Racist words and prejudices, however, are associated with discrimination in employment and the provision of services, and with a range of criminal offences.

The law of the land recognises the seriousness of racism by requiring that courts should impose higher sentences when an offence is aggravated by racist or religious hostility.

Racist bullying is in principle a criminal offence, and can lead to a pupil acquiring a criminal record.

The distinctive feature of a racist attack or insult is that a person is attacked or insulted not as an individual, as in most other offences, but as the representative of a family, community or group. Other members of the same group, family or community are in consequence made to feel threatened and intimidated as well. So it is not just the pupil who is attacked who feels unwelcome or marginalised. ‘When they call me a Paki,’ explains nine-year-old Sereena, ‘it’s not just me they’re hurting. It’s all my family and all other black people too.’ Racist words and behaviour are experienced as attacks on the values, loyalties and commitments central to a person’s sense of identity and self-worth. Often, therefore, they hurt not only more widely but also more deeply. ‘They attack me for being an Arab,’ remarks Ahmed. ‘But I’m an Arab because my father is an Arab, and I love my father. Do they think I should stop loving my father? I couldn’t do that, ever.’ A message in all bullying is ‘you don’t belong’. In the case of racist bullying the message is not only ‘you don’t belong in this playground or this friendship group’ but also ‘you don’t believe in this country’; it is therefore often even more devastating and traumatic, for the pupil who is attacked, than other forms of bullying.

Racist attacks are committed not only against a community but also, in the eyes of offenders themselves, on behalf of a community – they see themselves as representative of, and supported in their behaviour by, their friends, family and peer group, and they may well feel it is right and proper to take the law into their own hands.

Quite apart from whether those responsible see themselves as representatives of their own community, taking the law into their own hands, this is how they may be seen by those at the receiving end. So a Traveller child, for example, may then fear and distrust all settled people, not just those who engage in bullying.

Most bullying involves a series of incidents over time. In the case of racist bullying, however, a single one-off incident may have precisely the same impact as a series of incidents over time. This is because it may be experienced by the person at the receiving end as part of a general pattern of racist hostility. It can in consequence be every bit as intimidating, rejecting and hurtful as a series of events over time.

_____________________________________________________________________

–  –  –

In April 2006 there was coverage in the media of a story about racist insults in a school

playground. An editorial in The Daily Telegraph on 8 April included the following comments:

Anybody who was ever called unkind names at school must be gasping with astonishment this weekend at the news that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has thought fit to bring criminal charges against a 10-year-old who is said to have called an 11-year-old schoolmate a "Paki" and "Bin Laden" in the playground. Every word uttered by Jonathan Finestein, the District Court Judge who is hearing the case at Salford Youth Court, rang with common sense. The decision to prosecute, he said, was "crazy". It was "political correctness gone mad" (there are times when only a cliché will do to describe the sheer crassness of modern British bureaucracy).

"I was repeatedly called fat at school," said the judge. "Does this amount to a criminal offence?… Nobody is more against racist abuse than me, but these are boys in a playground, this is nonsense… There must be other ways of dealing with this apart from criminal prosecution. In the old days, the headmaster would have got them both and given them a good clouting." The judge had other home truths to tell, which ought to give the Greater Manchester Police and the CPS pause for thought. "This is how stupid the whole system is getting," he said. "There are major crimes out there and the police don't bother to prosecute. If you get your car stolen, it doesn't matter, but you get two kids falling out … this is nonsense."

For expressions of a different point of view, see articles by Hannah Pool (‘PC Plodder’, 7 April) and Cameron Duodu (‘I’m not racist, but…’,10 April) at the Comment is Free (www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree) area at The Guardian. Both these articles drew much comment, much of it in support of Judge Finestein.

________________________________________________________________________________

Workshop paper 3

CRITICAL INCIDENTS

________________________________________________________________________________

Introductory note These stories are based on real events. What should happen immediately, in the next few minutes? What should happen in the next few days? The next few weeks?

What may have triggered off the event in the previous few minutes, or hours, or days?

What should we do to prevent such incidents occurring, and/or to prepare ourselves for them when they do occur, so that we respond as effectively as possible?

What general principles can we draw out from of such incidents?

Compare your answers with those in Papers 4, 8 and (in relation to the first story) 9.

______________________________________________________________________

Angry This week I wrote a poem about the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade. ‘It’s well expressed,’ said the teacher, who’s white, ‘ but terribly extreme. You don’t really feel like that, do you?’ Of course I do,’ I said. ‘We all do. We’re angry about what you people did to us, and you’re still doing it.’ - ‘It wasn’t me that did it,’ snapped the teacher, raising her voice, ‘and any way I don’t like the way you’re talking to me about this.’

In the playground

In the playground two children are arguing about something and the argument becomes heated and mutually abusive. One then calls the other ‘Fatty’, ‘Spotty’ or ‘Carrots’, or some such, and the second replies with a racist term such as ‘Paki’ or ‘Gyppo’, or with words along the lines of ‘Go back where you came from.’ Should the second child be treated more severely than the first? If so, why? If not, why not?

Not surprising

I mentioned to a pupil’s mother that in a PSHE lesson her son had made some unacceptably negative and extreme remarks about Muslims and people seeking asylum. ‘Well unfortunately it’s not at all surprising,’ she said. ‘The fact is, my husband is an active member of the BNP.’

Multicultural stuff

I showed a few prospective parents round the school yesterday evening. After we had seen the classrooms and the hall, one of them asked if she could have a word with me in private.

‘Look,’ she said, ‘I must be honest with you. I’ve heard some worrying things about this place. They say you do too much of that multicultural stuff. I’d like Sarah to come here, but I’ve got to reassure my husband. You do have a proper Nativity play, don’t you? And you teach correct English, and you make all children feel British, and you don’t teach Pakistani?’ __________________________________________________________________________

–  –  –



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