At Kidscape we are appalled by the recently reported increase in xenophobia and racist abuse experienced by both children and adults. We are very concerned about the impact that this will have on our schools and wider communities.
Kidscape sits on the Race and Faith Advisory Board (led by the Anti-Bullying Alliance), which will be meeting soon to consider the collective action that can be taken to protect our young people from mindless prejudice and bullying behaviour unleashed and exacerbated by recent events.
We know that children will be influenced by what they hear at home and in their neighbourhoods, and by what they see on social media. We all have a responsibility to be vigilant, to report racist incidents and to promote tolerance, understanding and respect for others. In these uncertain times it is imperative for the UK to hold on to these vital values.
Here's some advice from the Anti-Bullying Alliance with immediate steps that schools can take to tackle this unacceptable behaviour:
- Send out an email/letter to all parents reminding them of the school ethos and values being clear that you will challenge all forms of bullying and abuse. Be clear that any reports of racist behaviour will be taken extremely seriously and this includes activity on social media.
- Encourage all staff to be vigilant to bullying, prejudice and abuse and to report any concerns.
- Take time in assemblies and lessons to remind pupils that they are all equally cherished, respected and valued and encourage them to speak to teachers/ support staff if they have any worries or concerns about bullying, prejudice or abuse.
- Remind pupils that you will challenge any offensive language or comments and that you take all forms of bullying and prejudice extremely seriously.
- Make sure you keep a record of any incidents and take immediate action if you receive a report of bullying or abuse.