Understanding is key to respect

ALISON Shepherd (TES, June 7) wants her children to grow up respecting and valuing others' beliefs, but does not think primary schools should seek to teach them about those faiths. Respect without understanding?

Sometimes our children may find things they learn in school unsettling or confusing - but surely it is a parent's role to help them tease things out. If Ms Shepherd is worried that piecemeal information about Islam means her daughter does not want Asian girls at her party, the solution is not to pretend there are no differences between the children, but to explain, again and again, that we are all different, and those differences are to be celebrated, as that is what makes people so interesting.

Tolerance and understanding are hard-won, but it has to start young, and schools and parents need to work together. Go on Alison, encourage your daughter to invite those Asian girls round to play - mother and daughter might both benefit.

Radhika Bynon Parent and vice-chair of a London primary school 10 Avenue Road Forest Gate, London E7

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