Racism rears its ugly head

25th November 2005 at 00:00
Q: One of my pupils, who is 14 and of lower than average ability, has produced a piece of creative writing which I believe to be offensive, with underlying racial stereotyping. I don't feel I can let this go without saying something. What is the best action to take? Should I tell senior management?

A: Your school will have an equal opportunities policy; work within its provisions. Your pupil may have written this piece with the deliberate intention of causing offence; equally, he or she may have written it out of pure ignorance, without realising that it could be offensive. In either case, it's your job as a teacher to help the pupil move on. Racist incidents cannot be ignored.

Talk to your immediate line manager or your NQT mentor to register your concerns, to clarify the issues and to ensure that the action you take will be effective. Then discuss it with senior management. Racism is a whole-school issue.

Do not confront the pupil on your own. You need support, and the pupil needs to know that what has happened is offensive to the whole school community. It's too important an issue to make it personal.

* We're happy to answer your problems about any aspect of your NQT year. Unfortunately, our experts cannot enter into personal correspondence with readers but will treat all your enquiries in the strictest confidence.

Please email any questions you have to: nqtextra@tes.co.uk

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now