Cut the terror out of racism

29th October 2004 at 01:00
It is unfortunate that your report (October 15) about the important research into understanding racism carried out by our educational psychologists Dr Richard Woolfson and Michael Harker chose such a sensationalist approach. In fact, there are two c1ear messages from that research.

First, even excellent schools which do everything they can to prevent racism from arising, and to discourage racism when it does occur, still face an uphill struggle in attempting to eliminate racism altogether.

Second, the school involved in the study subsequently used the research findings positively to make their school even better.

In the dramatic tone of the article in The TES Scotland, these messages were overshadowed by allusions to "war on terror" and "the bin Laden factor."

The topic of racism is undoubtedly sensitive, requiring careful management.

Alas, The TES Scotland report will only serve to discourage serious researchers for fear that their findings will be sensationalised.

Shelagh Rae

Director of education and leisure

Renfrewshire Council

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