Put my mind at rest - dd2 to be one of only 5 white girls in new class of 30

(103 Posts)
Bedward Fri 12-Jul-13 09:24:26

That's it really. dd2 went to her induction at her new school, yesterday. She was v excited - only one from her primary going, but dd1 already there. About half the new school are from different ethnic minorities and dd2 is fine with that - all dd1's friends at the school are from different ethnic backgrounds in fact. But it just so happens that dd2's form is 25/30 non-white. When I met up with dd2 after her induction, she looked slightly nervous and crestfallen - she's very sociable and easy-going, but her current school is virtually totally white (village school).

Please tell me it's going to be ok - I tried to reassure her she'll be fine, but I think the reality of going to a school where she knows no-one and worries she may not fit in, are now becoming real. sad

2cats2many Fri 12-Jul-13 09:27:04

Of course she's going to be ok! I bet she'll make lifelong friends.

What are you worried about?

They are 11 year old girls, they are not alien species are they?

If dd1 is ok, why wouldnt dd2 be?

NewFairy Fri 12-Jul-13 09:36:29

I would be slightly concerned if it's only 5 girls in a class of 30. Is that what you mean?
Otherwise I think yabu sorry.

noblegiraffe Fri 12-Jul-13 09:38:24

What's the issue? That she might end up with non-white friends? confused

maillotjaune Fri 12-Jul-13 09:38:51

Not knowing anyone is a reason to worry in advance of going, but that's entirely normal and I'm sure she won't be the only one.

The skin colour of her classmates is irrelevant. Your DD is 1 of a class of 30. She will make friends just like your older daughter has.

LaRosaBella Fri 12-Jul-13 09:40:03

I was the only white girl in my class, didn't do me any harm and I never had any problems in relation to it.

DaddyPigsMistress Fri 12-Jul-13 09:41:06

Well when theres only a few ethnic kids in a school full of white kids they manage so I'm sure she will be fine

LaRosaBella Fri 12-Jul-13 09:42:05

And I didnt know anyone but I made friends very quickly.

TobyLerone Fri 12-Jul-13 09:42:31

I can't actually believe you thought to write a thread about this.

It's a wind-up, right?

christinarossetti Fri 12-Jul-13 09:46:48

If all your dd1's friends are from different ethnic backgrounds, why do you think a similar situation - should it arise - with your younger dd will be a problem?

SolomanDaisy Fri 12-Jul-13 09:53:01

I don't understand. For ages DS was the only white child at his playgroup, it was irrelevant. Is she using this as a focus to express her more general anxieties about secondary school?

Branleuse Fri 12-Jul-13 09:54:37

oh dear. Lets just hope she doesnt catch black!!!

Bedward Fri 12-Jul-13 09:56:23

No, it's not a wind-up - dd1's class is about 50/50 though in her friendship group, dd1 is the only white one. In some classes, the balance may be skewed the other way - I assume the head doesn't sit down and carefully ensure every class has identical numbers of ethnic minorities. grin

I do worry a bit about dd2 being left out - although dd1's friends are lovely, she basically doesn't socialise with them outside school at all, as their parents won't let them/they only mix with people of their own ethnic background outside school etc.

Am also a tiny bit worried about religious bullying - we're Jewish and dd1 has Muslim friends and they get on very well, all very mutually respectful etc - but I know dd1 does find being the token Jew a bit hard... will be worse when they study the Holocaust. Am worried in case dd2 finds this hard.

But why would she be left out?

I don't understand. Are you saying the 25 other people are all the same ethnicity? And you think she will be excluded from the group because of this?
Or are you saying it is an ethnically diverse (I hate that phrase by the way but can't think of a better one) class, ie lots of different ethnicities and that is a problem?

Either way, with the kindness of intentions, get a grip.
My DCs are mixed race. In ds2 class there are many, many different races and cultures. He has never been left out.

You sound like this is really bothering you, I can't quite work out why because clearly you must live in an ethnically diverse area?

ZZZenagain Fri 12-Jul-13 10:06:12

Not being able to socialise with her friends outside of school sounds a bit lonely, even if the school is generally good and has a pleasant social atmosphere.

Where are all the other children from your village school moving to? Can't dd2 move with some of her friends?

JaquelineHyde Fri 12-Jul-13 10:15:30

OP get a grip.

DD1 is the only mixed race child in a class of 29, all the others are white.

DS1 is the only mixed race child in a class of 30, all the others are white.

In DD2's class of 30 there is a Chinese boy and her, all the others are white.

They are all perfectly happy at school and they all joined their classes in the middle of a school year as we moved house.

cory Fri 12-Jul-13 10:21:45

I'm surprised you made this about white/black rather than about ethnic minorities.

Do you mean you would feel more at ease if all your dd's classmates were Polish or Russian than if they were native born Britons who happened to have black skin?

VinegarDrinker Fri 12-Jul-13 10:22:33

They all come from different minority backgrounds but all are forbidden from mixing with "white" kids socially? Sounds a tad unlikely...

DC will likely be the only White British kids in their respective clasps when they start school. I can't see how this is a bad thing at all.

If you were talking about 25 kids all from the same background speaking another language to each other at school and excluding your DD then you just might have a point.

Did she even mention ethnicity or are you just extrapolating from her being a bit overwhelmed by starting somewhere new abs having to make new friends?

VinegarDrinker Fri 12-Jul-13 10:24:15

Btw what do the parents of your elder DD actually say when you invite their kids over to play?

MikeLitoris Fri 12-Jul-13 10:27:27

Dd is the only white girl in her year amd one of only 2k born children.

It has zero effect on her education.

Yabu

noddyholder Fri 12-Jul-13 10:29:53

really this is racist drivel. Why would she be left out? Left out of what?

TobyLerone Fri 12-Jul-13 10:34:26

Thank God it's not just me who thinks so, noddy. I thought I was in some kind of racist twilight zone.

noddyholder Fri 12-Jul-13 10:38:21

I have seen a few things on MN recently that have really shocked me along these lines.

Bedward Fri 12-Jul-13 10:38:29

dd2 did specifically mention this to me, yes, VinegarDrinker, as something that was worrying her.

And no, dd1's friends are not all from the same ethnic background - there is a Chinese girl, don't know backgrounds of other friends as strangely I don't quiz them or their parents on this hmm but they look Indian-ish but some are Muslim, some are Hindu, one is Christian - they're not a unified group, no. But they don't socialise with dd1 outside school - she has said they're not allowed to. A couple have been to our house to work on a homework project but dd1 was not allowed to go to their homes to work on the project - they had to come to ours twice instead. Some of them are allowed to go to the shopping centre after school, but the stuff dd1 would like to do like go to the cinema in the evening, or that kind of stuff, they are not allowed to.

tabulahrasa Fri 12-Jul-13 10:41:42

When I started school there were two other white children in my class...it's only something I noticed years later, at the time it made chuff all difference to me.

Why on earth would it affect anything?

Roshbegosh Fri 12-Jul-13 10:42:31

I think to be fair to OP, if DD is Jewish and the school is predominantly Muslim it might not be easy. One of DS's friend's parents have stopped him attending culture and ethics because they don't want him learning about Jewish people. Honestly, fuckwits!
I'm not Jewish myself but I do think OP's concerns are reasonable and not necessarily to be brushed off as racism. A good mixed school is perfect but not one where DD will feel isolated.

Bedward Fri 12-Jul-13 10:43:44

noddyholder - I'm glad you think my fears are groundless though it is not "racist drivel" - it would be racist if I said I didn't want my dd to be friends with people from other races - it is not racist to be worried if they will want to be friends with her.

I'm worried because I love my dd and don't want her to feel excluded as she is already nervous about starting secondary school.

ImNotBloody14 Fri 12-Jul-13 10:46:59

I really hope her crestfallen look was due to not knowing anyone rather than most of her class being non- white.

But that rather begs the question- why the skin colour mention in the title?

Odd attitude

ImNotBloody14 Fri 12-Jul-13 10:50:25

Btw is it all girls school? No boys?

But you are making an issue that she is the one of the few white children. you are worried.

Why would they exclude her for being white? Why are you assuming these other children are racist enough to ignore your DD for being white?

noddyholder Fri 12-Jul-13 10:52:11

You are mixing up colour and religion all over the place. You say her current school is all white but you do not know the religious backgrounds of all these children

Zyn Fri 12-Jul-13 10:52:38

I think being noticeably different could be hard for a child, so I don't think the OP should be given a tough time. There is one black child in my son's class and I sometimes wonder if she looks around the class and thinks, one of these kids is different, and, oh crap! it's me. But this child is very confident and happy and never left out.

Bedward Fri 12-Jul-13 10:58:52

Tantrums - no, I was not worried and it did not cross my mind. I know the school and know it is very ethnically mixed and am fine with that. I just noticed dd was looking a bit down and asked her why, and after a bit of hesitation, she mentioned the ratio.

noddy - it was a thread title, so 'white' is shorthand and the opposite of 'white' is not 'black' here.

Dollybird86 Fri 12-Jul-13 11:03:10

I started secondary as 1 of 2 mixed raced girls onu year & was fine. She will be fine its only an issue if u make it one!

noddyholder Fri 12-Jul-13 11:03:48

You have lost me now. She seems to like her current school and I am sure even though the children may all be white they won't all have the same religious background. The problem you raised with the new school seemed to be based on colour initially unless I misunderstood. Either way I doubt the children will leave her out

RestingUnderTheSun Fri 12-Jul-13 11:04:31

I think the OP has explained her fears very well. She knows by experience with her older dd that her friends do not socialize with her out of school.
She also knows from experience that the religious difference can be an issue.
So she is worried about her younger dd who will have with poepl from different background that will be unwilling to do so out of school (or that their parents will be unwilling for their children to socialize with her). because that will mean she most certainly will not be able to socialize with anyone out of school and that sounds a very sad state of affairs

It's not an issue with race as such. It's an issue with numbers and cultural differences (whihc may be linked with their race).
In a class where you have more a mix, then you have more choice as to who you can/want to befriend and have opportunity to socialize with in the future.

OP I would take the stance of not being worried about it. use your elder dd as an example and how it is working well for her.
In the mean time, try and ensure that dd2 can socialize outside of school too.
And see how things go in next year. If this creates an issue because she feels completely left out, the you can still reassess the situation (whilst making it clear it's not a race issue to your dd)

Bedward Fri 12-Jul-13 11:05:30

noddy - yes, I am mixing up colour and religion because they are two linked issues. But very hard to tease out two separate threads here.

eg children who come from families with similar cultural backgrounds may tend to hang out together more. But that culture could be based on language, religion, country of origin etc - 'colour' or 'ethnicity' are very poor descriptors of those issues. Colour especially - the thread title necessarily over-simplified things, but it's not whether someone is pink or brown or beige or whatever that matters, but whether many groups of girls have a shared culture that dd does not. As adults, that is not a problem but for a 11 year old with no friends, it is not 'racist' to be worried that she might find it hard to fit in, it is natural, unless the child is v v confident.

Bedward Fri 12-Jul-13 11:06:55

Thanks, Dollybird smile .

I specifically did not make it an issue and said she'd be fine. End of.

I am posting here so I can believe that 100%!

MikeLitoris Fri 12-Jul-13 11:08:18

I can completely understand what you mean about the social aspect. The children in dd's year simply do not socialise outside of school. they are invited to come to our house and always decline, there are no birthday parties.

Dd did take it quite hard when she moved to her current school as the previous school she was in she had a very close group of friends. I've raised this on mn before and others don't have the same issue. Hopefully your dd wont either.

Luckily we live close enough that dd can still see those friends.

RestingUnderTheSun Fri 12-Jul-13 11:08:18

OP is it also possible that your dd was worried that, because of the ratio she saw, she felt the odd one out and thought she wouldn't fit?

So on the top of been worried to go to secondary, it suddenly look even more alien to her?

Bedward Fri 12-Jul-13 11:08:28

RestingunderTheSun - thanks. That explains what I am trying to say very well.

SanityClause Fri 12-Jul-13 11:08:41

DD1 is at a school which is fairly culturally diverse. I think it's about 30-40% ethnic minorities, and there are lots of girls from other European backgrounds, as well (I'm not sure you would count them as being from an ethnic minority, although they are from a cultural minority).

At first, when she would mention a name, I would usually have no idea whether that person's family was of African origin, or Asian, or European. (None of Tilly, Jennie, Rochelle or Francesca are white European, for example.) It was never an issue to her, and isn't to me.

She isn't one of the "cool" girls in the class, but is quite pleased that she speaks to all the girls in the class at least once a week, for one reason or another (different classes, clubs, catching the same train, etc.)

She has been invited to the houses of many of the girls, and meets up with them for outside school socialising. This includes girls of all different cultural backgrounds.

DD2's and DS's schools are less culturally diverse, but both have close friends of other ethnic backgrounds. Those children are certainly not "left out", although they are part of a cultural minority within the schools.

Bedward Fri 12-Jul-13 11:09:12

Both posts!! Totally.

RestingUnderTheSun Fri 12-Jul-13 11:09:47

xpost. You obviously have answered my question already.

Bedward Fri 12-Jul-13 11:12:28

Thanks, Resting - x-posted indeed, as you summed up what I was tring to say better than I did!

dd2 is very far from racist, she gets on with everyone. But she is little girl starting a big school on her own, and it is hard for all of them...

Bedward Fri 12-Jul-13 11:13:45

Thanks to those saying their dds are fine in this situation.

Less thanks hmm to those telling me that dd's fears make her/me a racist.

Kez100 Fri 12-Jul-13 11:14:11

I think it's exciting.

So much nicer to be amongst a mix of children - the world is really a small place nowadays and appreciating that through being able to make friends with all ethnicities at such a young age is a wonderful thing.

Bedward Fri 12-Jul-13 11:18:35

Thank you, Kez. Exactly what I need to hear. smile

I think I do think that too, and in many ways the school is really good at integrating all the girls and they do all seem very respectful of each others' faiths/cultures. And that's great.

But dd2 is my baby - so nerves creep in.

FeegleFion Fri 12-Jul-13 11:23:37

I think children don't see any children with a different colour of skin from their own as anything other than children until they witness the adults around them making a distinction, IYSWIM.

I'm absolutely sure your DD will be fine. She'll have a ball with all of her new friends.

usualsuspect Fri 12-Jul-13 11:27:07

She will be fine, my DS has muslin,Hindu,Jewish friends. It's fantastic to have such a diverse group of friends.

He has always socialised outside school with them too.

lainiekazan Fri 12-Jul-13 12:25:59

It is unhelpful to dismiss the op's concerns and make racist accusations. Anyone would be apprehensive if they thought their dc might not make friends at a new school.

Ds has Muslim and Sikh friends. They go round to each other's houses, have had parties etc etc. BUT - these dc do not come from especially religious families. Their parents are middle class professionals. Call me a snob if you like, but ds's friend's mum who is a Muslim told me she wouldn't want her ds mixing with certain dc with Asian backgrounds (she uses the term Asian). I guess everyone has their own "chavs".

I'm sure in a class of 30 not all the pupils will be mega-religious. But I think this is something worth raising with the pastoral person at the school. Given that school is where one finds one's friends whe you're 12, it would be tough to have to take it on the chin that that isn't going to happen.

Futterby Fri 12-Jul-13 12:36:10

I don't see what the problem is. Have a biscuit

RestingUnderTheSun Fri 12-Jul-13 12:36:52

Having said that, I would love my dcs to be in such a mixed school.
As it is, they are in a very white middle class school and they do struggle because there is little variety (They are 'white european' but bi-national and feel out of place too...).

There is a lot to say about being in a very mixed environment at school!

lainiekazan Fri 12-Jul-13 12:51:54

Those doing biscuit emoticons, have you never been in an environment where you felt an outsider? Have you never been to a toddler group where everyone is sitting together chatting because they have known each other's families since 1123 and you are sat there like a lemon? Have you never had the experience of standing at the school gate with an exclusion zone around you such that you feel convinced you have horrendous BO?

Don't belittle fears of being left out.

Kez100 Fri 12-Jul-13 12:52:05

I don't think you can pre-guess that new friends won't be made and approach pastoral at all at this time.

Firstly, this class is probably a tutor group. Yes, they may stay together for quite a few lessons but not all and, as they progress through the school, even less so. My daughter, who is now at college, had two best friends she met at secondary. Neither were from her tutor group.

Secondly, what can you say to pastoral currently that won't come across as extremely precious? There are usually settling in meetings held with tutors just before Christmas. That's the time to raise issues if she feels she has no friends at that point.

And I re-iterate. I think it is exciting. My daughter has just joined a college where there is a high number of international students and I was disappointed that, in the end, on her particular course there weren't very many.

Bedward Fri 12-Jul-13 12:52:53

Thanks, Resting and Lainie.

And Futterby - next time read the WHOLE thread and here's your biscuit with a brew to dunk it in. back,

maja00 Fri 12-Jul-13 13:00:00

I think this is only really an issue if the vast majority are from one ethnic background/speak the same home language and than the minority child can feel excluded. If there is a good mix of different backgrounds/home languages and English is the common language then skin colour isn't an issue.

Bedward Fri 12-Jul-13 13:01:14

I agree, Kez - I wouldn't dream of raising it with pastoral before she started and only afterwards if I had reason to believe she was being bullied eg for her religion. (Which I don't think is likely but is always possible - I know of other Jewish dcs at other similar schools locally that have been victims of specific anti-Semitic bullying, so know it does go on.)

I didn't post the thread because I wanted to 'complain' about the racial mix in her class, but because I wanted to hear positive stories/attitudes, so that when my dd looked nervous, I could in all conscience say to her with a smiling face, no, you'll be fine, you'll have an amazing time and it will be an opportunity to make loads of lovely new friends - yay to go for your new school!

But I'm human and I worry - I'm a mother; it's part of the human condition.

So humour me and tell me she'll be fine!!

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 12-Jul-13 13:07:44

You've highlighted that DD1 has some social issues at the school....then why did you send DD2 there? I think YABU but also a bit head in the sand about DD1 having issues and then sending DD2 there too!

Justfornowitwilldo Fri 12-Jul-13 13:10:39

How is the religious mix? I would be worried about anti Semitic bullying.

RestingUnderTheSun Fri 12-Jul-13 13:46:30

She will be fine Bedward smilesmile wink

Seriously, at the moment it will be difficult to judge because you have no idea if these children are coming from families that are quite 'strict' re outings (such as the ones your dd1 seems to be happy with) or if they are indeed very open.
And school isn't the only place to socialize. It might be also a good exercise for her to do something else outside of school and make friends that way.
And stay in touch with the friends she currently have too.

Bedward Fri 12-Jul-13 13:49:05

NeoMaxi - dd1 and dd2 are v v different. dd1 is very unconfident socially - dd2 is (usually) very chilled, so I wasn't worried about her - until this.

Justfornow - the religious mix is very good - totally diverse, not overly dominated by any one faith. And all seem to get on fine AFAIK, so hope it will not be a problem. But marginally more likely if the class happened to be dominated by one faith group so that the others felt unable to express themselves freely. As I said - I do know of Jewish kids in other local schools where this has been an issue - I discounted one local school specifically for this reason, as apparently in this case the school were rubbish, ignored it totally until the girl who'd been bullied eventually had to leave. sad

But I would not have chosen this school if I had thought it was generally a problem at this school - I don't.

Bedward Fri 12-Jul-13 13:52:54

Thanks, Resting. smile

Will keep in touch with old friends/seek new ones out of school - just would hate dd2 to lose her social confidence - she's always been so happy, chilled and easy-going.

I hope she'll stay that way - much easier way to face secondary school. Suppose I am worrying whether it would have been kinder to send her to a school where loads of her primary friends are going, for an easier transition. sad But I know they do cope... just hard while they find their feet...

tiredaftertwo Fri 12-Jul-13 14:25:54

Op I don't think you sound racist. I know some dc too who have not socialised outside school because their friends were not encouraged to mix much outside the family. All nice kids, no racism, just different approaches to family life. And those differences do sometimes, not always, connect with cultural background.

So I understand your concern but it is only a possibility that is how things will turn out; she could be making your hair stand on end with her partying by the end of year 7! I think all you can do is be encouraging and watch her progress as you would do anyway.

Bedward Fri 12-Jul-13 14:47:53

Very true, tired.

ZZZenagain Fri 12-Jul-13 16:32:20

From what you say, it sounds as if it will be ok. Are none of her friends from primary moving to this new school?

ZZZenagain Fri 12-Jul-13 16:33:38

Why did you choose this school originally for dd1?

Wilfer Fri 12-Jul-13 16:44:53

DD is off to a girls' school where she will be one of very few girls of her ethnic and cultural background. The predominant group is Muslim, and I'm pretty sure this will have an impact on socialising outside school.

The Muslim children at our primary school don't normally accept invitations for parties etc and would certainly never come for sleepovers. DD2's best friend (not Muslim), who is already in Yr 7 at the same school has made lots of very good friends but they never meet up outside school.

DD2 is a very gregarious child and I do think she will miss out if she has fewer opportunities to socialise with her peers. We will just have to encourage lots of non-school clubs etc to ensure she has a wide friendship group .

tiredaftertwo Fri 12-Jul-13 16:52:50

Being a bit eyore-ish here, going to secondary with primary friends can also go wrong, as can lots of socialising for young teens....I suspect we all worry one way or or t'other! And I agree about doing things outside school too, again this can be a good plan whatever the circumstances.

Your dd sounds lovely. I can really understand why she feels nervous. Going to secondary is such a big change, it is quite hard to guess in advance what will work and what will not.

FrauMoose Fri 12-Jul-13 17:02:25

My daughter is in a city secondary school where there is a wide mixture of races and religions. She is from a (non-observant) Jewish background. While there are a small number of children in her class who are from strict religious backgrounds which means they don't socialise out of school, they have formed good friendships within the school. My daughter finds the Evangelical Christian girls the most extreme, though she is good friends with a Baptist! I think when the Holocaust is taught within history lessons, children are extremely respectful. (Expect a wide variety of interesting debates within RS though!) Oddly enough the only time when insensitive remarks were made it was within a Year 7 or 8 drama class, where the play was set immediately post-world War 2. It was some white girls - who had absolutely no awareness of white on white racism that made some inappropriately 'humorous' remarks, which distressed my daughter. (My mother was refugee from Germany and some of her relatives perished.) The drama teacher was most supportive when I contacted her with my concerns. Although the transition to secondary school takes a bit longer for some children for a huge range of reasons, I think diversity in a school can be a big, big strength

Silver15 Sat 13-Jul-13 08:23:00

I think we need to respect all cultures and family choices. Socialising outside school is a family choice not a cultural thing. I'm comfortable with no sleep overs but that does not make me asocial.

sashh Sat 13-Jul-13 08:30:17

Good grief, the world is not divided into white and non white. Have a look at the class you will find there are small groups of different backgrounds.

You should be worried about whether the school will educate your daughter.

FrauMoose Sat 13-Jul-13 08:30:55

I think there is an overlap between religion/culture and individual family choices. In all major religions - certainly in Christianity, Orthodox Judaism and it appears within Islam there are more zealous subgroups that will see socialising with unbelievers/those who have very different beliefs as a potential source of corruption. Also if there are different days of religious observance, festivals that need to be celebrated and additional religious education/study in a place of worship that may be prioritised over hanging out at McDonalds. Fortunately the majority of families are able to combine their beliefs with a feeling that they want their children to have a 'normal' happy childhood/adolescence.

FFS 'only white one'???

Words fail me the fucked up stupidness of some people.

Token Jew?????

Arrrrgggggjhhhh!!!!!!!

noddyholder Sat 13-Jul-13 09:09:35

Thanks madamec I was beginning to think MN was full of people trying to explain away casual bigotry. Because that is what this is

23balloons Sat 13-Jul-13 09:24:36

Is it a grammar school she is going to? There are some highly selective grammar schools near me & from my son's primary every single child with and Indian or Korean background sits the test but virtually none of the white children do. I think it is because culturally families from those background value education above all else.

She will be fine.

DD2 is 13. She went to a super selective if it matters. Out of a year of 180...she was the only white child. And she was a foreigner- we had only moved to the UK when she was 6! A white child joined a bit later, she was half Greek and had lived in Corfu until 7, so no fully 'white Anglo-Saxon' in her year.

Her friends are Sri Lankan (mainly Tamil), India, Pakistani, Bengali, and a tiny scattering of mixed race, Afro Carribean, Nigerian, Ghanaian, Zambian and Chinese. So what? In Ramadan, they change the timetable and change PE lessons- like this year- and as well as Chrisfmas, they have anDivali show and Eid celebrations. It's just a part of life. It's not amazing, it's not bad. It's just people.

And sad about anti-Semitic bullying. Have had experience and it's horrible. If there is a wide mix generally then it will be better- but if it's say, JUST Tamil or JUST Pakistani, then it might be more problematic- just like if it was just white Engoish. Good luck to your dd- it's always scary starting secondary school.

geologygirl Sun 14-Jul-13 00:41:39

I was the only non-white person in my entire school.

Im fine!

CountingClouds Sun 14-Jul-13 15:39:03

There is a bit of a mix-up between race/culture/religion etc

It probably won't be an issue but my (DC) has been in groups where there was a majority from a different culture. The mothers never talk to you, I was totally excluded and there was no mixing outside the group. It wouldn't be an environment I would want my DC to be in for 7 years.

I dont care what religion, culture, color or race my DC friends are but I do care if its a friendly, open, tolerant, social environment.

forehead Sun 14-Jul-13 16:39:03

One has to remember that there are many black or mixed race children who are the only one of their race in the whole school. They just get on with it.
However, I can understand why the OP may be concerned as no one wants their children to be left out.
I do think that the Op should be positive about the situation.
My dn attends a super selective grammar and is th only white boy. My dsis did have concerns as she did not want my dn to feel left out. He loves the school and has many friends. However, he did find that children from certain backgrounds were not allowed to socialise outside.
There are others that are allowed.

camilamoran Sun 14-Jul-13 22:55:05

Seriously, noddyholder? Racist drivel? She might be left out, she might not. It's worth talking through, I think. Worth it if she was only white kid, only black kid, only kid who doesn't speak Polish. It's not racist to talk through what the problems might be. Its not the only non-racist response, to pretend there can't possibly be any problems.

My DD is the only European child at her school.
She has had racist bullying, but it's OK now.
OP, I do think you are worrying unnecessarily.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 15-Jul-13 07:39:36

My sons are two of fewer than about a dozen non white kids in their rural very white secondary school in a rural very white part of the uk.
They are fine.
It's never caused any problems at all.
Your daughter will be fine being one of a handful of white kids just as my children are fine being two of a handful of non white kids.
After all, there's no difference, is there?

Jinsei Mon 15-Jul-13 08:13:02

Good grief, the world is not divided into white and non white. Have a look at the class you will find there are small groups of different backgrounds.

^^ this. Your child will not be the odd one out if the class is as diverse as you say. There are 25 children who are non-White. How many are non-black? How many are non-Chinese? How many are non-South Asian? And then when you break it down further, how many different sub-groups are there within each group? E.g. different religions, different nationalities, different cultural and linguistic backgrounds etc.

Is you dd really in a minority, or just in a class where there is no overall majority? And just because your dc1 has friends who aren't allowed to socialise in the way that she chooses, does it automatically mean that dc2's friends will be the same?

You are overthinking this, OP. Just relax, your dd will be fine. smile

Jinsei Mon 15-Jul-13 08:17:59

FWIW, there is only one other child in my dc's class with the same ethnic background as her. It has honestly never occurred to me that it might be an issue. It is a very diverse school, and no particular group is "dominant". They all just play together and none of us give it a second thought. They're just kids!

FrauMoose Mon 15-Jul-13 09:45:56

I feel the concern is as significant as many raised on Mumnet. 'OMG what am I going to do about my son's birthday party/my daughter's friendship group/what face cream shall I buy'.

People agonise in particular over choices of school. The more choices money and privilege afford, the more they agonise.

I felt the sixth form college my stepdaughter attended was fine. It was only after she left two years later, that she told me that most of the white kids and most of the Asian kids never chose to mix in the canteen and that she was one of the relatively small group who had a mixed race friendship group. That several of her classmates said they would vote National Front in the general election. And that a classmate of hers whose parents had given her a mini got consistently bullied by the rich kids whose parents had given them more expensive cars. They thought it was fun to move the car out of a parking space and put it somewhere else.

lainiekazan Mon 15-Jul-13 12:15:28

I think the "white" in the title is misleading. What the OP is afraid of on her dd's behalf is that the dominant culture is one of closed unfriendliness.

When people say, "Oh, my dc is the only mixed race child in the class" that is not the same thing. Why on earth wouldn't you be friends with anybody, if that friendship is reciprocated . In the OP's case, the fear is that the majority of the class is not up for being friends full stop.

Dontlikepink Mon 15-Jul-13 12:40:34

The OP mind is not "at rest", because for the first time her DD will not be part of a white dominant majority group and will have to adjust to many things she taken for granted before.

Maybe anyone could offer an advice how to deal with being a minority, especially if you didn't grow up with it?

I would be worried about the social aspect, personally, based on experience. Incidentally, there are not that many Asian kids where we are, and hardly any black kids.

The one Asian origin girl in DD1's class never came to any of the many parties she was invited to, in 7 years of primary school. Every single time there was apparently some family gathering that the girl couldn't miss.

DD2's first best friend at secondary was Asian/Asian origin (never met her, so I can't be specific. DD invited her round a number of times for parties or other things, no success. The girl wasn't allowed to stay late after school for activities or trips as she'd miss her bus - we offered to have her stay so she could take part, no success. I think this was a factor in DD2 switching best friends part way through the year, as DD2 is very sociable and wants friends she can spend time with out of school.

Personally NotGoodNotBad I have found that most (Asian)'children go around houses loads etc; but Asia is a gigantic continent. It depends on religion and nationality (and not just nationality, but where in the country) for their culture and attitudes towards socialising. Many Muslim children might not socialise as much for certain reasons (but many do) and a lot of Muslims are of Asian origin (such as Pakistani) but it really depends on the specific culture, and of course, the specific child.

Dontlikepink Mon 15-Jul-13 16:54:50

NotGood, what you describe might be common, but did you or other parents at your DC school extend equal amounts of the invitations to the Asian girl's mother? Did they great her at the playground and develop a relationship, or did they look away when she was passing by? I am sorry to say that the looking away happens a lot at my ds2 school, so I could imagine that with this looking away the invitations might feel a little less genuine for those families.

OP, I would suggest to wait for your DD to develop some friendships and then to genuinely develop a relationship with your DD friends' families. Invite mothers for a morning coffee, even if means you need to take a day off. Just get to know each-other.

tiredaftertwo Mon 15-Jul-13 17:12:01

?* And just because your dc1 has friends who aren't allowed to socialise in the way that she chooses, does it automatically mean that dc2's friends will be the same?*

It doesn't mean it will automatically happen but it does mean it is a possibility: it has happened to the OPs dd and to other dc mentioned on this thread. Parents are allowed to worry about possibilities. I know several dc to whom this has happened and while they are happy at school and to some extent their parents are happy they are avoiding the party culture, as they get older there is - think a sense of missing out on independent socialising and what you learnfrom it because that is what some of their peers are doing and it is what is in the films and books they watch and read. Especially if you don't have an extended family around who can substiture to some extent. Not a deal breaker or a disaster bu a reasonable concern.

FrauMoose Mon 15-Jul-13 17:14:41

One of the positives about my daughter's school - a high proportion of students are from various 'faith' backgrounds, as well as reflecting the ethnic diversity of a large city, is that there isn't the stress on getting blind drunk at every possible social opportunity that there was at my stepdaughter's school. I really like my daughter's friends!

tiredaftertwo Mon 15-Jul-13 17:39:34

Absolutely FrauMoose smile

Did they great her at the playground and develop a relationship, or did they look away when she was passing by?

OK, so you've never met me or the other mums at the school, but why on earth would you think this? hmm

wordfactory Tue 16-Jul-13 06:58:30

I think there can be issues with this.

I'm a governor at a school where the cohort aremajority Bangladeshi Muslim and the girls are actively discouraged from doing much socialising. Also, it would be very difficult for a jewish child!

Evageorge Tue 16-Jul-13 12:05:49

I do understand your anxiety. You just want your DD to have lots of friends. It is the case that if the majority of a class are from one group, say the same religious/ ethnic group, who live locally together, and socialise together, you can be worried your child will be left out. If there is a healthy diversity however, that won't be the case at all. Your DD will get the education you clearly want for them - one where they enjoy and appreciate difference. www.how-to-choose-a-school.org/summary/diversity-and-multi-culturalism.html is good at reassurance in this regard.

kitchendiner Tue 16-Jul-13 19:52:14

Surprised nobody has mentioned "class" here.

lainiekazan Tue 16-Jul-13 21:39:08

I did on page 3.

Ds has school friends from varied religions. Their religions may be different, but their class is not. Their parents are all middle-class professionals. The boys all visit each other's houses - sleepovers etc - and in fact we socialise with the parents too.

CurlyFox Tue 16-Jul-13 21:44:19

Well said forehead my Dd is the only "brown" child in her class this was picked up by other children and nasty comments made which upset my Dd but was dealt with by the school and myself.

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