'Who would ever have thought that the anti-racism crusade would go so far?' Patricia Morgan, author and researcher, on a National Children's Bureau book which recommends that nursery workers should report the potentially racist remarks of young children to local authorities
We say ...
The National Children's Bureau guidance was widely condemned in the daily papers as an attempt to brand toddlers as racist, but that is not its aim. Jane Lane, author of the book, made it clear that she simply wanted staff to "be alert", not to condemn children.
"It's about being sensitive and never attacking a child, but always trying to think about why a child may have said or done something," she said.
Although the vast majority of toddlers will not be aware of race as an issue, youngsters can still pick up inappropriate language and racist views from those around them. So, far from being "totalitarian", the book seems a reasonable approach to nipping potential problems in the bud.
It seems unfair to challenge a well-intentioned publication that merely hopes to create a fairer, more tolerant society.