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Racist, Homophobic Children?

Updated on March 12, 2012

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Racist Homophobic children

Over 10,000 British children aged three to eleven were labeled racist or homophobic by schools in 2010. The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 has since 2002 put public bodies under a duty to eliminate discrimination. Schools were told they must monitor the effects of their policies on the educational results on children of different races. Teachers had to log the names of perpetrator and victim, details of the incident and details of the punishment of the offender on a special form for the purpose. Schools can retain these details on file if they wish to do so.

Forty-one such “incidents” incidents involved nursery school children, who are under five years old. Such young children have no comprehension of what such things mean, to them they are just words they have heard somewhere. Some of the incidents were blown out of proportion, one child was logged as racist for calling another child “broccoli head”, another was logged as homophobic, for telling the teacher “this work is gay”.

UK schools report such incidents to local education authorities, who keep a register. Birmingham City Council reported 1090 racist incidents in schools, whereas Leeds a city with a similar ethnic mix reported 672 and Hertfordshire a county reported 567, the lowest were the county of Glamorgan and the town of Hartlepool with 2 incidents each.

Are teachers and politicians not in danger of imparting adult meanings onto children’s words? Children have always called one another names; they do not always mean anything by it. Why should “broccoli head” be reported and not “speccy four eyes” or “fatso”? Surely two children calling one another "gay" and "lesbian" during a squabble over an eraser should be dealt with immediately by a common sense teacher rather than registered by the education authority. Such heavy-handed treatment makes people more likely to be racist and homophobic rather than less.

We should not call one another names. However, there are other ways to deal with it. True good manners mean treating one another with respect and consideration for each other’s feelings. The political correctness brigade have gone much too far with their campaign. Those who passed this stupid law, and instructed teachers to act in a fashion that smacks of fascism or Stalin’s Russia, are probably related to those of the British local Authority that banned the Nursery Rhyme “Baa Baa Black Sheep” because they said it was racist. “Baa Baa Black Sheep” is about the wool trade and tells of times before good quality dyes when naturally black wool was more valuable than white wool. This law shows little understanding of children and when under-fives are labeled as racist, and homophobic, there is something very wrong with the World.

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  • Happyboomernurse profile image

    Gail Sobotkin 

    7 years ago from South Carolina

    Because of the extremely young age of the children that this hub addresses, I found this quite shocking. Though we surely need to teach young children acceptance of all races, and teachers need to address all instances of name calling, it seems like logging the names of racist "perpetrators" and their "victims" into official school records for nursery school and kindergarten children is likely to make the situation worse, not better.

    Thanks for sharing this thought provoking hub.

  • Onusonus profile image

    Onusonus 

    7 years ago from washington

    I agree with you, I think that this will cause more people to act out as the rules become harsher. also it all really depends on the teacher student relationship weather or not an incident will be deemed racist or homophobic. If the teacher likes the kid it might slide, but if the teacher doesn't like the kid he just might be looking for a reason to get the kid into trouble. Such seems to be the case with the broccoli head comment.

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