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Racism at school (not against us, but witnessed)

(35 Posts)
weegiemum Mon 28-Jan-13 13:38:28

My dd1 is almost 13, in s1 (Scotland) and very caring and sensitive.

One of her teachers is Jewish. Last week, this teacher was talking with a colleague at the door of the room as the students settled down. One boy started making comments about how Jewish people are stupid, lazy or they'd have run away from the Nazis.

Dd1 was appalled! We've always tried to be sensitive about this stuff (partly as her paternal grandfather is German) but because you just should be - the holocaust is nothing to joke about! M dc have visited Anne Frank's house in Amsterdam and dd1 (and this boy) studied WW2 as a topic and watched (with parental permission) "The Boy In Striped Pyjamas" (in her school most pupils were 12 by then which is it's rating, we were given an orientation meeting to deal with it - dd1 was upset but in her words "glad I know it happened")

I think this boy is being anti-Semitic as an attention seeking thing, but it's not on!!

Do you think I should mention this to the Jewish history teacher? (they're covering early Scotland and William Wallace right now!!) or to a more senior person. Or ignore?? I'm very uncomfortable about it!

weegiemum Mon 28-Jan-13 13:43:56

Dd1 texted me at lunch, saying that the boy is telling everyone Mrs X is a "stupid Jew" today.

I have to intervene, don't I?

fedupwithdeployment Mon 28-Jan-13 13:49:29

I would feel deeply uncomfortable ... and would report it. Not sure who is best placed, but probably to the head teacher.

HecateWhoopass Mon 28-Jan-13 13:51:14

I agree, I would report it to the head too.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 28-Jan-13 13:53:53

Yup - report it to one of the teacher's seniors - either head of department or head teacher.

weegiemum Mon 28-Jan-13 13:54:08

I'm very uncomfortable too.

But this boy is kind of best friends with what my dd calls the "popular girls" (dd identifies in school as a weird girl cos she's good at art and tech studies!) and is going out with a girl that's been borderline bullying dd.

I think I should report anyway (I get on well with the head) but don't want to put dd1 in harms way either!

Ohh! The good of the many over the Goidelic of your own kid! It's really hard!!

weegiemum Mon 28-Jan-13 13:55:55


Head is great!!

I'm emailing her this afternoon.

It's not acceptable no matter the consequences!

weegiemum Mon 28-Jan-13 14:00:52

So how di I frame it?


And I write loads!

Don't want dd to suffer but this boy and his parents (probably) need to know this is unacceptable!

HormonalHousewife Mon 28-Jan-13 14:03:22

Its come to my attention that ....

just state the facts and that how your DD and you find this most unacceptable.

Go on... you know you can do it when you start tying

GrimmaTheNome Mon 28-Jan-13 14:04:03

Why would your DD be blamed for any consequences anyway? But regardless, you know the quote I'm sure:

'The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.'

True in WW2, true now.

weegiemum Mon 28-Jan-13 14:07:22

Should I name the boy??

gabsid Mon 28-Jan-13 14:08:24

Yes, contact the Headteacher - racism needs to be dealt with, and it will recorded as such by the school.

I am German and a secondary teacher (now supply teacher), and I have come across racist comments and gestures - only by very view and mostly in an immature manner. Still, it made me feel very uncomfortable, despite the fact that it (usually) came from an 13 or 14 year old boy who thought it was funny. Mostly, I could deal with the matter by talking to the child privately and explaining that his 'joke' was not funny but racist. However, on occasion I reported the incident.

That child in your DD class seems to carry on with this behind the teacher's back and needs to be dealt with, besides there may be other who believe him and take his side.

Please act!!!

gabsid Mon 28-Jan-13 14:11:23

You must name the boy, so that he can be spoken to - he doesn't need to know who reported him. Could have been anyone since he is voicing his opinions so freely.

weegiemum Mon 28-Jan-13 14:14:19


Dear Mrs X

It has come to my attention from my daughter in the last month a boy in her class (Z) has been making some very derogatory anti-Semitic comments generally, and specifically about her teacher Mrs Y.

This has upset my daughter as she knows this type of comment and what amounts to holocaust-denial from Z is inappropriate, unsavoury and may even be illegal.

I trust that you will be able to deal with this in an appropriate manner. My daughter does not have a good friendship relationship with Z or his friendship group and is worried about repercussions. I am sure she has nothing to worry about.

Dds mum

GrimmaTheNome Mon 28-Jan-13 14:21:37

Good - but maybe you should include as exact a quote as possible?

weegiemum Mon 28-Jan-13 14:27:28

So including that he said "the Jews were too stupid and lazy to run away" or that (lovely teacher) is a "stupid Jew" would help?

A 12 year old boy saying this these days?? Must be coming from home? Where else? (dd says he hates the history teacher as he never does his homework and so gets punishments/detention).

fedupwithdeployment Mon 28-Jan-13 14:42:29

Perhaps you could quote these as a couple of examples. They are pretty shocking, and make the offensive nature of his remarks stand out, perhaps more so than "derogatory anti-Semitic comments".

weegiemum Mon 28-Jan-13 14:46:44

I'm honestly appalled, and feel in a way sorry for the boy, who must have heard this somewhere.

Reading it over it sounds too extreme!! But I trust dd, even though she doesn't like him, to tell the truth.

She doesn't want me to report, in case he finds out it was her. But she wants him to stop, too!!

racingheart Mon 28-Jan-13 15:25:58

You definitely did the right thing by reporting him.

But don't assume his attitude comes from home. Just as likely to come from You Tube or Facebook.

fedupwithdeployment Mon 28-Jan-13 15:48:07

The report could have come from anyone. He needs to be told that this sort of stuff is wrong, on so many levels. As well as being uncredibly disrespectful to the teacher.

I went to a school were about 25% of pupils were Jewish. It was just accepted, and not an issue. Once I moved, and went to a "non Jewish" area, I did hear a few "Jewish" jokes, which were inappropriate and made me feel v uncomfortable, but what he is spouting is awful and needs to be stopped. The fact that he is popular and may influence others makes it worse.

weegiemum Mon 28-Jan-13 15:53:19


The email (with examples!) has gone to the head.

As someone privately said, this teacher might be aware, but unhappy to make an issue of it.

So I've done it. It's just wrong!

GrimmaTheNome Mon 28-Jan-13 15:55:16

Well done thanks

GetOrf Mon 28-Jan-13 15:57:35

Good on you for doing that.

weegiemum Mon 28-Jan-13 16:01:31

Hope dd1 doesn't get in trouble! It's a very small secondary (she's in S1, as is the boy, there's 50 and they're the biggest year so far).

Though if he turns on her for this, I mean it, I'll have his dads balls him strung up!

neolara Mon 28-Jan-13 16:01:39

Many years ago when I was a secondary teacher we had an incidence where a couple of year 7 /8 boy was making similar negative comments about Jews and how Hitler had it right. The TA asked me to talk to the class as I was their history teacher. So we had an impromptu lesson on the Nazis. Until then I think the vast majority of the class had absolutely no idea of the horrors of the holocaust and the reality of life for anyone living under the Nazis, Jewish or otherwise. Once they genuinely understood, the anti-semitic comments stopped. I think all along the unpleasant comments were motivated by a desire to gain attention and be provocative as opposed coming from an bigoted "ideology". Sometimes education is more effective than punishment.

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