A Teacher’s Guide to RACE 1

This is especially for those of you racialised as white.

Scenario

A white pupil calls a pupil of colour a racist slur. You hear it, it’s in earshot and it’s directed squarely at the pupil of colour.

Your thoughts are to follow the policy, right?

At the end of the lesson, the victim (pupil of colour) comes to see you and says that the incident was ‘banter’ and requests that you do not record it or apply a sanction as per the policy.

Activity: What do you do?

.

.

.

.

.

.

Recognise this, first and foremost; as a white person (person of privilege) it is never your job to tell a pupil or anyone else what is or is not racist.

 

Are you advocating the sanction be dropped, Pran?

 

What I am saying is that the policy of the incident should be treated like every other incident. Would you treat a comment about someone’s weight in the same way? If the child came told you they didn’t mind. I will leave that to your professional judgement.

What happens next with regards to the consequence is vital. I vehemently do not advocate a solely punitive sanction, in this case. This is an issue of ignorance or hate. Neither should be met with a response which meets does not meet their needs. I have seen pupils excluded (FTE) leading to them spending more time with the people who indoctrinated them in the first place, sigh.

The victim who has had the conversation at the end of the lesson has signalled they may not have an understanding of the power structures. As a person of colour, this is of critical concern. All students need to be aware of the kyriarchy. If they are not, then it is our job to educate them. This should form part of the day to day education of a pupil. This is the world they live in. I have seen many schools successfully incorporated this learning into character education and PSHE.

If our schools and society are not providing this enlightenment for our pupils, it becomes our duty, as teachers, to provide it in any form necessary. One teacher, one school and one pupil at a time.

 

Ways to support both victim and perpetrator:

  1. Teaching around the kyriarchy, the power structures and privilege.
  2. A conversation around the origins of the language, the abuse and the hate.
  3. The discourse around the consequences in adult life. I’m not just talking about criminal charges, I’d concentrate on the societal and community impact.

 

Scenario 1

A black child refers to a black child with a racist slur. You hear it, it’s in earshot and it’s directed squarely at the pupil of colour.

You follow the policy, right?

At the end of the lesson, the victim comes to see and says that the incident was banter, and requests that you do not record it/apply a sanction as such.

What do you do?

Yes, it’s different. It is not the right of one human being to take away the right of identity from another. If a child chooses to ascribe to a label, that is purely their choice. I would how however contemplate the education around the language and the public nature of their indiscretion.

All in all the support is exactly the same:

  1. Teaching around the kyriarchy, the power structures and privilege discussing historic and current contexts.
  2. A conversation around the origins of the language, the abuse and the hate.
  3. The discourse around the consequences in adult life. I’d concentrate on the societal and community impact.

How many teachers are confident about the nature of this support? Do we factor support into ITT. Do schools provide CPD to support the gap in societal knowledge?

Please do send me your responses via the ‘about us’ contact form.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.