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To wonder if this is racist?

(52 Posts)
winkywinkola Sun 05-Feb-17 16:47:23

Friend looking at UK boarding schools for her son.

Says she has discounted a few because there are too many Chinese students there. Schools teach in English, UK curriculum.

I couldn't see why it mattered myself but it seemed really important to her.

Is it racist to prefer not to have too many of one race in one school?

allchattedout Sun 05-Feb-17 16:51:42

Yes, i would say that is pretty much textbook racism. Did you not ask her about it further?

Trifleorbust Sun 05-Feb-17 16:52:18


Crumbs1 Sun 05-Feb-17 16:52:50

Whilst it might have a degree of racism there is also something about ensuring appropriate peers for your own child. There is also something about wondering why they need to have lots of Chinese students to be viable.

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 05-Feb-17 16:52:58

How much more racist would you like it?

TobleroneBoo Sun 05-Feb-17 16:53:17

I watch a lot of American tv and " the asians"
Are generally made out to be the cleverest and most disciplined. This is not my opinion but something I thought of as soon as I read your post

Maybe she is worried her child won't be one of the most academic?

teaforbreakfast Sun 05-Feb-17 16:53:29

In the context of 'I am concerned that DS may find himself isolated due to so many children sharing the same cultural heritage he is not part of' no.

If it's 'I don't like Chinese people' yes

EssentialHummus Sun 05-Feb-17 16:53:34

I think there are valid practical issues to worry about - a huge number of students from one country makes it more likely that they'll speak their home language, for example, and may make it harder for her DS to make friends. Likewise concerns about the quality of teaching (esp English) if you've got lots of second-language speakers.

Is the school lowering its barrier to entry by allowing a huge contingent of overseas students?

StewieGMum Sun 05-Feb-17 16:53:49

It's pretty much the definition of racist.

winkywinkola Sun 05-Feb-17 16:54:37

The conversation moved on somewhat.

I think they can charge overseas students more? Perhaps the number of Brits able to afford boarding school has reduced. I don't know.

Anyway, it wasn't until some time later that I considered this.

PacificDogwod Sun 05-Feb-17 16:54:42

Whatever her reasons, yes, racist.

She is not considering certain school because of the race of a number of students.
How is that not clear racism? confused

KurriKurri Sun 05-Feb-17 16:55:56

Yes it is racist.

It is clumping chinese students together as one entity who all share a fictional stereotypical characteristic that she does not like. Rather than seeing them as individual children who are all different.

scaryteacher Sun 05-Feb-17 16:55:56

No it's not. There is a problem at times in the boarding houses with the Chinese kids not speaking in English, and not adhering to the rules.

teaforbreakfast Sun 05-Feb-17 16:55:57

To be honest though I find this happens in state education too.

Parents get concerned about non English speaking children at the school. They opt for another school, which excacerbates the problem.

BewtySkoolDropowt Sun 05-Feb-17 16:57:55

It depends why.

If it is because she doesn't like Chinese people, yep, racist.

If it is because she thinks that if the school appeals to Chinese families then it might not be a good fit for her son, because of the fairly full on way that many Chinese approach studying, not necessarily racist.

maggiecate Sun 05-Feb-17 16:59:28

She'd be stupid to pick a boarding school where that's not the case. Wealthy Chinese families expect the very best and can afford to pay for it. If she sends her kids to a boarding school without a significant far and middle eastern presence it's going to be a second rate institution.
She's missing out on a fantastic opportunity for her kids to make friends with the future leaders of a major economic force - even the chance to learn mandarin on cantonese would give them a head start. And yes, it is racist.

Trifleorbust Sun 05-Feb-17 16:59:46

I suppose it might be easy to believe that stereotypes must have a basis in fact on some level and that your child will struggle to excel academically amongst a large contingent of Chinese students. Racist, yes, probably, but not springing from dislike.

YakiUdonYumYum Sun 05-Feb-17 17:01:34

scaryteacher "There is a problem at times in the boarding houses with the Chinese kids not speaking in English, and not adhering to the rules"

But OP's friend equally isn't asking if there's a dominant group of Russian kids for example (who may not speak English in the boarding houses etc.)

Flipthebirdy Sun 05-Feb-17 17:04:06

No. Racism is a strong word. I would rather my son be in a school with a nice mix of kids of different races and cultures.

Meffy Sun 05-Feb-17 17:07:44

We discounted two primary schools as there were far too many Polish children in the classes. All classes had 1 teacher and 1TA. Most of the children had very poor English so we discovered they polish children required much more attention than in a classroom with fewer Polish children.
It's not because we are racist ... it's because we want our children to get the best education possible.

MollyHuaCha Sun 05-Feb-17 17:09:12

As teaforbreakfast said. Could be, but not necessarily racist at all.

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 05-Feb-17 17:09:27

Just in case anyone is actually listening to this drivel... DD was in a preschool with mostly Chinese, Korean and other CoC. She was frequently the only white kid at parties. It was inclusive, people spoke English to me and her, and everyone was lovely.

DD can still say hello and thank you in Mandarin!

KurriKurri Sun 05-Feb-17 17:10:10

No. Racism is a strong word. I would rather my son be in a school with a nice mix of kids of different races and cultures.

There's nothing to suggest there isn't a mix of races and cultures. All she has said is that there are 'too many' Chinese children.
How many is too many? Where is the cut off line between an 'acceptable' number of Chinese children and too many ?Two kids might be too many in her opinion.

Diemme Sun 05-Feb-17 17:13:52

I struggle with this one. On the one hand I like to believe I haven't got a racist bone in my body. But on the other, I'm not sure there's anything wrong with acknowledging that people socialise and interact in line with their culture. And that subsequently, feeling more at home when you're not in a minority group is ok.

Crumbs1 Sun 05-Feb-17 17:17:54

Have to disagree maggicate, ours went to a very, very good (top 10) boarding school where although there were a few international students they were most definitely the minority and no single foreign nationality group dominated.

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