Racist bullying is any bullying behaviour where someone feels they are targeted for their race/ it is perceived as racist by the target. It may include:
- comments and name-calling
- physical abuse
- social exclusion
Racist bullying can happen face to face and/or online. Children can experience racist bullying from other children and from adults. While schools must take action to prevent all forms of bullying behaviour, children with protected characteristics (which includes race and faith) have additional protections under the Equality Act 2010.
In some instances, the bullying behaviour may also constitute a hate crime and can be reported to the police. For more information visit the True Vision website for advice and details on how to identify a report a hate crime.
What to do if your child experiences racist bullying
The school has a legal duty to prevent all forms of bullying, and under the Equality Act 2010 must prevent all forms of racial harassment. For more information, see ‘Help with Bullying in School’.
The majority of social media platforms have an acceptable use policy, and you can report racist incidents. Most social media platforms have options for reporting harmful content. If you are struggling to see how to report content, or have reported content and are not happy with the action taken, then you can visit Report Harmful Content for more support. You may also have other options through the platform such as muting or hiding content, or blocking the perpetrator.
If the perpetrators are from your child’s school, the school should take action to address their behaviour.
In the community
The local authority has a duty to keep your child safe from harm. If you are worried about the safety of your child, contact your local children’s services team.
Additional information and support for racist abuse
Talking to children about race and racism
We have a huge role to play in educating and challenging our children to be inclusive of others and to embrace difference. When they are young this includes making sure that the books and magazines they read, the films and television they watch, and the toys that they play with are inclusive and represent different types of families. As they grow older it’s important, we challenge any discriminatory attitudes and encourage our children to listen and learn from others. It’s also important that we start by educating ourselves, that we understand the history of our country and other countries, and that we connect with people from a range of different backgrounds, listening, learning, and growing as allies.
Books that promote inclusion
Choose inclusive books with a range of skin and hair colours and from a variety of backgrounds.
Children of the World - nonfiction to help children to learn about other children around the globe
All Are Welcome - follow a group of children through a school where everyone is welcome
My Skin, Your Skin: Let's Talk About Race, Racism and Empowerment - a book to help children and adults to have meaningful conversations about race and racism
This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How To Wake Up, Take Action and Do The Work - learn about the origins of racism and gain the courage and power to undo it
Understanding our history
ZAP workshops for children impacted by bullying (available online and in the community)
ZAP workshops bring together children facing a similar situation and teach a range of tools to increase assertiveness, build confidence and help manage bullying situations.