More pupils reported for racial abuse

PUPILS as young five and six are dishing out racial abuse in Norfolk's school playgrounds, new figures show.Calls have been made for teachers to do more to combat racial ignorance after the figures showed that over the course of the last year, 93 primary school pupils were reported for being racially abusive.

PUPILS as young five and six are dishing out racial abuse in Norfolk's school playgrounds, new figures show.

Calls have been made for teachers to do more to combat racial ignorance after the figures showed that over the course of the last year, 93 primary school pupils were reported for being racially abusive.

At all of Norfolk's schools, 363 racist incidents were reported to Norfolk County Council, from April 2008 to March this year. The figures were the highest since 2004 - the earliest year statistics are given for.

The racist incidents included verbal abuse, physical harassment and graffiti, with five and six-year-old primary school pupils the group listed as giving out the most abuse.


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In total, 93 primary school year one pupils were reported for handing out racial abuse to other fellow students and to staff, while 47 year one pupils reported being victims of racial abuse.

County council officers, who supplied the figures following a Freedom of Information request, say the majority of racist incidents were levelled at white British students coming back from holidays with tans, who were then called racist names.

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David Sheppard, senior equalities advisor at Norfolk County Council and member of the Norwich Norfolk and Racial Equality Council, said: “Racist incidents in Norfolk's schools are simply not acceptable.

“It is important to remember, though, that racist 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 true meaning.

“Therefore it is important that teachers are able to use their professional judgment to find a positive and restorative way of dealing with the dispute.

“Schools are good at managing such situations themselves and, whilst it is rarely required, I can visit a school to talk to a victim, perpetrator, witness, teacher, other staff, or parent, to try to resolve a matter to the satisfaction of all concerned.”

The figures from Norfolk County Council show there were 324 incidents of verbal abuse, nine of physical harassment, five classed as non-cooperation and disrespect, six graffiti incidents and one classed as “other”.

Most - 338 - were dealt with internally, eight were referred to a senior advisor for equalities and inclusion and six were serious enough to be handed over to the police.

In 2004/05 there were 213 incidents at 67 schools; in 2005/06, 277 incidents at 86 school; in 2006/07, 317 at 83 schools and in 2007/08, 293 at 86 schools.

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