Denying racism doesn't make it go away

22nd July 2011 at 01:00

I would like to endorse the sentiments of the article "Racism 'a very real issue' in English schools" (15 July) by relaying my son's experience of racism in a predominately white secondary school in West Sussex.

For over two years his peers referred to him as a "Paki". They made jokes about which country he belonged to and about him being a terrorist.

When I asked the school for help on this matter, the very first thing I was told by the headteacher was that "racism is not a problem in the school". This was, in the headteacher's opinion, a "little problem".

To deny a problem is to collude with it - shamefully this was the response of the headteacher. There was no appreciation of the damage this racism has caused my son and our family, and no strategy for confronting a problem that did not exist in the view of the white, middle-class head.

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