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to think my 5yo ds is not racist?

(127 Posts)
chr0nic Fri 27-May-11 21:28:27

Today the teacher phoned to tell me my 5 yo ds had called another boy 'little Indian boy' shock. My son was made to apologise but not made to understand why it was wrong. The teacher phoned the other boy's parents and so did I to apologise. I tried to explain to the boy's mother that my ds did not mean to be racist and does not understand the concept of racism. She did not accept this at all. Now she has banned my ds from playing with her ds. I feel sorry for my ds. Am I being too pfb? Should I have tackled this issue at an earlier age to prevent this from happening? What now?

MrsFogi Fri 27-May-11 21:30:16

yanbu - children say it like they see it - I assume the other child was little, a boy and Indian.

BornInAfrica Fri 27-May-11 21:30:35

Is the other boy Indian?

TakeMeDrunkImHome Fri 27-May-11 21:34:23

No IMO YANBU. Children of that age do say as they see with no malicious intent and if the child is a little boy who is Indian then he said as he saw.

chr0nic Fri 27-May-11 21:34:55

Actually the other boy is from Sri Lanka. My ds did not know this. I guess he should not have stereotyped but I don't think he has even heard of Sri Lanka.

chubbly Fri 27-May-11 21:36:10

What?? I'm Indian and it's not racist to call me Indian or describe me as having Indian features. I'm puzzled by the reaction all round. Yanbu. Please don't get too stressed about it, seems to me the school had gone a bit ott.

LindyHemming Fri 27-May-11 21:37:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pigletmania Fri 27-May-11 21:37:14

YANBU at all This has been blown out of proportion by the school, your ds said it how it was. This boy was a boy and probably Indian, he might not have known his name and not have the alternative language. The mum overreacted too, it was not like he called him the P word. Geeese.

YellowDinosaur Fri 27-May-11 21:37:30

This is a ridiculous over reaction of the school imho. I feel for your ds who has been told off without the reason why being explained and now not being able to play with this child! Ffs the world has gone mad.

Like another poster said, i reckon its a fair bet that the child was little, indian and a boy and therefore your son was just saying it how it is!

I think you now have the perfect reason to explain race issues to your son but YANBU for not tackling this in advance.

pigletmania Fri 27-May-11 21:38:36

What else was your ds supposed to call the boy hmm. It is purely a description, nothing else.

BarbieLovesKen Fri 27-May-11 21:39:58

Huh? you poor thing. How upsetting and well.. ridiculous. Hes five ffs and just calling as he sees it, presumably a boy, who is little and from India. (Presuming your in the UK) would you be offended if someone referred to your ds as a little English boy? (when presuming he is little, English and male). Your poor ds, how silly of this boys mother.

sausagesandmarmelade Fri 27-May-11 21:41:04

That's ridiculous.....

Her ds is going to lose out on a friend because of his mother's irrational sensitivity...what a shame!

LindyHemming Fri 27-May-11 21:41:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

iEmbarassedMyself Fri 27-May-11 21:41:52

I suppose it depends on context. Was he asked to describe him or did he say 'fuck off, you little indian boy', in which case I'd find it racist. Though obviously I doubt he swore, just an example.

bubblecoral Fri 27-May-11 21:42:01

The other mother is a loon. The school are probably paranoid because of parents like her, who make them feel the need to over react.

CoffeeIsMyFriend Fri 27-May-11 21:43:28

no way! a 5 year old! This is a Friday wind up innit?


If it is not a piss take wind up then I would seriously be having words with the head teacher about how your childs teacher handled this.

MonstaMunch Fri 27-May-11 21:44:06

Gawd how pathetic

a five year old cant be racist, and was he literally correct, was the boy a little indian boy? This is how bad feelings start - from small insignificant things that are blown up out of proportion

if she didnt accept my apology, I would say oh well, your loss you silly woman

AgentZigzag Fri 27-May-11 21:44:30

'I guess he should not have stereotyped '

Can a 5 YO stereotype? I think you'd need a wider knowledge/experience of the world to use a stereotype with any meaning.

The mum is totally overreacting.

But then our neighbour keeps calling our dog a racist (in a 'jokey' way) because she barks at her grandson confused I never know how to react to it.

Maybe the mum's had other experiences that would explain her reaction?

MadamDeathstare Fri 27-May-11 21:44:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Fri 27-May-11 21:47:55

Bloody hell... the world's gone mad! sad

I'd suggest that you ask the school to do some kind of exercise in the classroom to explain to the children how they should describe each other and outline what is and isn't ok. It's ridiculous that a 5 year old should have been called a racist, very sorry for your boy, OP.

suzikettles Fri 27-May-11 21:48:12

Well a iEmbarassed said, it's all about the context.

If it was "Yuk, you're a little Indian boy" or "Yuk, you're not English like us, you're a little Indian boy" then they've got a point.

If it was a descriptive thing, then well I think it' reasonable for a 5yr old not to be able to distinguish between India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan etc. Might have been nice for the school to take it as an opportunity to talk about the different cultures making up your ds's class rather than make a big ol' fuss over little.

chr0nic Fri 27-May-11 21:49:07

We live in a VERY white area. Maybe the teacher didn't really know what to do. I don't think they train teachers for this sort of thing do they? They should though. My ds was not describing the boy but speaking directly to him. His exact words were 'get off me little Indian boy'.

suzikettles Fri 27-May-11 21:50:36

Did he not know his name?

AgentZigzag Fri 27-May-11 21:53:16

Do teachers need training to say 'That's not a very nice thing to say XXXX, could you not say it again please?'.

Same as for calling names because of hair colour/weight/shoe style etc

Could he have heard older children saying something similar and just be copying chr0nic?

It's unlikely he'd have come up with it himself.

chr0nic Fri 27-May-11 21:53:28

Yes, he knew his name. They are (were sad) best friends.

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