Friday Forum

29th October 2004 at 01:00
Meg Shakesheff, 17, is head girl of Wolverhampton grammar, an independent school

"I go to a very racially mixed school, but we all get on really well together. I think the way racial cultures interact outside of school is always reflected in the school. In Wolverhampton, which is very multi-ethnic, we co-exist well. There are gangs in my school, but it's not about aggression; it's about groups of friends going around together. We are told to hold the door open for the person behind us no matter who they are, and it is constant reinforcement of those 'little' issues of respect that make all the difference to overall relationships.

"Pupils cannot be happy if they are constantly embattled. School should be a fun, friendly environment in which you can change things, and teachers have to get down to the students' level to help them put those changes in place."

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