Norfolk: School racism reaches record high

21st August 2009 at 01:00
Growing numbers of racist incidents are being reported at Norfolk schools, new figures reveal

A total of 363 incidents were reported to the county council between April 2008 and March this year, the highest number since records began in 2004.

There were reports of verbal abuse, physical harassment and graffiti in primary and secondary schools, records released under the Freedom of Information Act to the Great Yarmouth Mercury show.

Norfolk County Council said the majority of comments were directed at white pupils who came back from holidays with suntans and were then called racist names.

More than 90 five and six year-olds were reported for racially abusing pupils and staff, the figures show.

David Sheppard, the council's equalities adviser, said: "Racist incidents in Norfolk's schools are simply not acceptable.

"It is important to remember, though, that incidents occurring in our schools vary.

"Some are deliberate and malicious, but some occur through ignorance or even mere repetition of words that a child had heard elsewhere without understanding their meaning."

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