Tackle racism for children's sake

24th September 2004 at 01:00
I recently attended a vigil in Swansea for Kalan Kawa Karim, a Kurdish victim of what the police describe as an "isolated incident" of the ultimate act of racism - murder.

The following day I marked assignments of teachers on an MA programme who interviewed hundreds of children about racism in school and on the street.

The evidence is overwhelming: racism is part of the very fabric of our society.

It is time we accepted that Britain is irreversibly multicultural. The majority of our ethnic-minority community children were born here - Britain is their home. Imagine applying the commonly expressed view that "they" should "go back where they come from" to all those descendents of British settlers to the Americas, and Antipodes, not to mention the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

None of us can say "there's no problem here". Schools must prepare children for our multiethnic society and that doesn't mean just celebrating Eid or Diwali alongside Easter and Christmas, it means helping children to challenge racism.

Such a duty is enshrined in law through the Race Relations Amendment Act, but unless teachers support it, it will not happen. Kalan joins a growing list of people who are the victims of racist attacks. For the sake of all our children, we must learn to live together.

Dr Sue Lyle Swansea institute of higher education Townhill Road, Swansea

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