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Racism at primary school WWYD?

(140 Posts)
lusturousrabbit Sat 18-Feb-17 09:27:19

My 8 year old DS asked me this morning what the 'N' word means. He said that another boy had said it to his best friend (who is mixed race, his mum is middle eastern) when he was being mean to him in the playground. I explained that it was a nasty racist word and that I don't want to hear him using it and that it was very serious if other children use it to be mean to his friend and he should tell his teacher straight away. Initially he told me the name of the boy who had said it, but when I said I was going to come into school and mention it to one of the teachers (because they need to know this is going on, if they don't already) he quickly backed down and said, "I think it was x who said it, but I didn't see him properly". He also said that he himself (ie my DS) had repeated it afterwards. I repeated that he should never use that word and that it is not acceptable. We have just broken up for half term. I am planning to speak to the school and not mention the name of the boy DS accused at first on the basis he should be absolutely positive before getting the other child into trouble, but am thinking that, if it was him, someone needs to have a word. Also, do I tell my son's best friend's mum this has gone on? I know she would be furious, as would his dad (understandably!) and am worried that they would then have issues with our sons remaining friends. DS loves his best friend and didn't know what the word meant, but he did repeat it. WWYD?

user1471545174 Sat 18-Feb-17 09:30:07

I would leave it alone.

BlondeBecky1983 Sat 18-Feb-17 09:34:58

I would report it to the school. They will take it seriously.

Chloe84 Sat 18-Feb-17 09:35:28

I would speak to the teacher, not the parent. Is there a possibility of bullying?

Why would the parents be upset with you?

Leatherfireguard Sat 18-Feb-17 09:36:48

Absolutely report it and let school deal with it

Mumzypopz Sat 18-Feb-17 09:40:10

He doesn't know who said it for sure, and you have told him to tell a teacher if he hears it again. I would leave it there. They are children at the end of the day, the child who said it probably doesn't know what it means. If he says it again, a teacher can educate him about it. I don't think he needs to be hung drawn and quartered when you don't even know for sure who said it.

WhirlwindHugs Sat 18-Feb-17 09:43:08

I would tell the school, you don't have to name the child but knowing what is being brought up in the playground will help them talk to the whole class.

Mottlemoth Sat 18-Feb-17 09:47:33

I would report it to the school and let them deal with it. Even if your DS isn't sure exactly who said it, the fact that it was said at all warrants a class chat. I wouldn't tell your friend if you've told the school. I'm not sure why they would be furious with you though? Your son has done the right thing in telling an adult, surely? confused

PippiLongstromp Sat 18-Feb-17 09:47:38

User - why would you leave it alone? I'm curious to hear why you think something like that should not be addressed.

lusturousrabbit Sat 18-Feb-17 09:48:20

Chloe His parents tend to get worked up about things - for example, they've been known to have a go at the boys teacher at parent's evening because they don't think that the curriculum is challenging enough - I know that doesn't mean anything in this context but its just a feeling that, from what I know of them, they would not react calmly IYSWIM?...

Laiste Sat 18-Feb-17 09:51:00

I'm really not sure that OP going in and saying her son some heard someone say N to a child in the playground a week ago will be acted on. I could be wrong.

I guess if there's been other similar reports it might prompt a chat.

I wouldn't be telling any other parents anything.

Keeptrudging Sat 18-Feb-17 09:51:24

Let the school know. They'll be able to do some whole class/school work on it, rather than singling out one or two children. Any school I've worked in would really want to know about this, TAs and teachers don't know or see everything that goes on in the playground but this needs nipped in the bud quickly.

lusturousrabbit Sat 18-Feb-17 09:52:00

Mottlemouth I agree, he did the right thing and I will report to the school

foodtime Sat 18-Feb-17 09:56:34

Wow no wonder we have such problems with racism in the country.

Really user? Leave it alone? Let that boy suffer because racism is not a big deal to you.

Also the comment about them being children at the end of the day? WTF am I reading? So much wrong with that comment I don't know where to start.

Crumbs1 Sat 18-Feb-17 09:57:07

I'd speak to teacher about it. They can introduce lessons and resources aimed at tackling racism. They can make explicit the risks and consequences of racist talk.

foodtime Sat 18-Feb-17 09:57:54

Laiste If your right ( which you are not) does it not bother you a school wouldn't take racism seriously?

Chloe84 Sat 18-Feb-17 10:02:59

Mumzypops

I don't think he needs to be hung drawn and quartered when you don't even know for sure who said it

They're 8. No one is going to be hung, drawn and quartered, metaphorically or otherwise. But school should be aware so they can make sure it doesn't escalate. It's annoying how often people want to protect the offender. As keeptrudging says, the school can do some whole class work on it.

Chloe84 Sat 18-Feb-17 10:05:14

OP, I see what you mean, and I agree, best not to tell parents.

Mumzypopz Sat 18-Feb-17 10:08:05

Foodtime...So what would you want to happen? The child is eight. All he needs is a conversation with the teacher and re-educating. They don't know for sure he said it. Would you want your child expelled or something when he might not have even said it? My child told me only yesterday that they call each other 'gay' as an insult in the playground. I re educated him. End of.

Mumzypopz Sat 18-Feb-17 10:11:16

Chloe84....You don't know that, I've heard of children getting expelled for that. Hence my phrase hung drawn and quartered. Yes, it's a truly nasty comment to use, which I'm surprised is being used in this day and age, but he's a kid fgs. Some people on here would get a lynch mob on him.

Strygil Sat 18-Feb-17 10:13:39

"Dear Teacher: I feel I should draw your attention to the fact that my son told me the other day that he had heard racist language [specifically the word "nigger"] being aimed at a mixed-race child in the playground. There is no point in naming names over an incident for which there were no witnesses, but I wonder if this points to a need to re-inforce the school's messages to our children about racist language in general? I have told my son that he should report any further incidents straight away to a teacher, but some general classroom work on this issue might help to prevent a recurrence.

Mumzypopz Sat 18-Feb-17 10:15:58

I know it's annoying when people want to protect the offender, but thankfully we have laws to protect youngsters who are under the age of responsibility. It doesn't always feel right when people get away with bad behaviour etc, but we have to protect children, all children. I do agree some classwork or even an assembly on it would be good.

lusturousrabbit Sat 18-Feb-17 10:18:02

mumzypops and foodtime - I think it needs to be a whole class - or rather year group focus (the boy who may or may not have said it is in another class in the same year). But I don't think I'd have been as concerned about a general misuse of the word 'gay' - my reaction would have been the same as yours, tell him it's not OK and leave it at that - but this was directed at a specific child and it is not a diverse school/area - there are probably 10 kids in a large school (~700 children) who are not white. I would also be more concerned if homophobia was directed at an individual and would report that too.

lusturousrabbit Sat 18-Feb-17 10:20:51

Strygil that's excellent. Thank you!

AlexanderBerry Sat 18-Feb-17 10:21:16

It's shocking to think that kids are hearing that word bandied around at home.

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