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is it the same as the teasing a redhead would get?

(22 Posts)
twonker Sat 16-Jun-12 00:13:13

My daughter has had comments in school about all brown skinned people being losers, ugly and stupid. this has been picked up and challenged in school on an individual level. I have requested that it be challenged in class discussions/ sessions. The head does not seem to think this is necessary, and likened the comments to those a redhead might get.......

How do you all react to this.... does she have a point...or is she trying to avoid admitting that racism is being allowed in her school?

what would you do?

edam Sat 16-Jun-12 00:28:31

wtf? Seriously, in this day and age?

Every racist incident has to be logged and reported - those are the rules. Any head who thinks they can faff about is seriously misguided and will find themselves in deep shit very soon.

Is this primary or secondary, btw?

tethersend Sat 16-Jun-12 00:28:47

No, it's not the same. At all. I say that as a redhead. And as a teacher.

There is no similar history of oppression connected to my hair colour in the way that there is connected to skin colour.

This is racism.

If the school refuse to acknowledge this, speak to the governors and the LEA.

tethersend Sat 16-Jun-12 00:29:06

No, it's not the same. At all. I say that as a redhead. And as a teacher.

There is no similar history of oppression connected to my hair colour in the way that there is connected to skin colour.

This is racism.

If the school refuse to acknowledge this, speak to the governors and the LEA.

misslinnet Sat 16-Jun-12 00:33:25

IMO the head teacher is wrong to dismiss your concerns like this.

I'm a redhead, and got teased a bit about it at school - but all comments were related to my appearance - things like being called gingernut or mocked for having pasty legs. And even then no-one ever said that all redheads were ugly.

I never had any teasing / comments about all redheads having certain personality traits or being stupid, or lazy or whatever. And I would hope that any sensible teacher would have challenged comments like that if they had been made.

I would speak to her again, you are right to say that the comments about "all brown skinned people being losers, ugly and stupid" are unacceptable and should be challenged.

PoppadumPreach Sat 16-Jun-12 00:34:38

the head is living in the 1950's. pursue this - it is either ignorance, stupidity or racism.

47to31in7days Sat 16-Jun-12 13:27:35

Those are the rules, edam? Not all heads follow the logging rules.

Not all police, doctors, social workers, accountants (esp for tax purposes),... human beings always record everything they're officially supposed to in writing either. Incomplete record-keeping affects every profession and occupation. As seen from countless examples.

This HT could have read the Daily Mail and decided that there was too much pressure to log racist incidents and/or too much focus on the matter in government so she would just not bother.

Still, this is bad and she is not "living in the 1950s" she is simply being unprofessional and not following government guidance.

Thumbwitch Sat 16-Jun-12 13:30:37

Full on racism, I'd say.
I also got teased at school as a redhead but it's not the same - it's not racist to call me ginge and all the other shit I got thrown at me, and it's therefore not legislated against - but what your DD is putting up with IS racist abuse and it IS legislated against, so the HT is being pretty stupid about it.

They might not want to do anything school-wide about it, but they bloody need to stop it at source.

edam Sat 16-Jun-12 15:19:20

47 - yes, obviously I know some people disobey rules, even supposed professionals. My point being this is outrageous, unfair and very stupid on the head's part, because it would be easy for her to be caught out. I hope the OP does bring this to the attention of the LEA, who will not be impressed.

cureall Sat 16-Jun-12 15:24:06

Totally racist behaviour.
And if a redhead was called those names I'd expect the school to act on it too!
A girl in my DDs class had some racist comments directed at her by a couple of ignorant classmates and they were made to apologise to her in person and in writing. Not sure if their parents were told.
Sounds like the head doesn't know how to handle the situation; I agree you should go to the governors.

cureall Sat 16-Jun-12 15:27:21

BTW I am not saying it's the SAME as comments directed at a redhead at all, just that I think the sooner you pick kids up on name calling the nicer it is for those on the receiving end. DDs school is IMO remarkably lax about kids being mean to each other in general way (things like 'you look like an egg' which was v hurtful to recipient but teachers brushed off as part of school life; a silly kids insult obv but why not just tell them, that's unkind thing to say please don't do it again and think about your actions?).

twonker Wed 20-Jun-12 21:24:39

thanks for you feedback.... We live in a welcoming place, where no adult has had anything bad to say to us regarding race, but the school my girls go to is not very diverse (not my choice...our school was shut last year.)and it is not very cosmopolitan. I will speak to the citenship lead to see if the head has actually spoken to her about having some extra sessions on diversity. if not I will take this further, but do not feel very confident about doing so.

missorinoco Wed 20-Jun-12 21:32:47

As said, not the same. Good luck.

The fact that you are taking it further makes a point to your daughter, even if it goes no further than the next conversation. Well done (if that doesn't come across as too patronising).

MUM2BLESS Thu 21-Jun-12 19:02:01

"all brown skinned people being losers, ugly and stupid." This is definately racist.

I live in herts and if this was said at my kids school I would have to definately challenge it, without a shadow of a doubt. angry

Who ever said this has not been confronted and therefore it seems something okay to say. Where did they get this from?

How do you think this makes a child feel?

My kids school is mutli racial. My kids have friends of all nationalities. I like that.

The hea teacher does not seem to think its a problem because its not aimed at her. This is very offensive and I think its so sad that in this day and age such racist comments can be so easily dismissed.

So whether its about a brown person. black person or disabled person ITS STILL WRONG.

I Could go on but..

Words can hurt a child.

Confront the head and make a complaint.

twonker Thu 21-Jun-12 22:44:15

thank you all so much for sharing your responses with me. The head is recently qualified (in fact the school postponed interviewing for a new head, some said in order to give her time to become qualified) and i really think she's out of her depth. her manner is bulldozer ish, which has made me feel unconfident about arguing with her....i am normally able to be assertive. the head thinks it has been dealt with because the child who said one of the comments was told off, and parent informed. However, 2 of the comments were not heard by a teacher, and i do not know if those children have been told, and this does not deal with the fact that other children in the class have heard these comments said and not heard them being challenged. I asked for the whole keystage(1) to have sessions on awareness of other cultures/migration/human rights, and she said she would investigate and discuss with staff members. when i got back to her abothis after a few weeks, she said she didn't realise i was waiting to hear from her. she then tried to make out that all thissue s would be covered in citizenshio anyway..... i smell no action being taken. i smell incompetence, and lack of empathy.

cureall Thu 21-Jun-12 22:48:34

If you're not happy contact the governors. I've no idea about how it should work (discipline, education) but if you're not happy with what the head is or isn't doing and don't like her attitude, try to find someone you are more in tune with. Someone more experienced may be more confident about helping you. It does sound as if it's worth addressing for everyone's sake, including the children who were misguided enough to make the remarks.

LoopyLoopsCorgiPoops Thu 21-Jun-12 22:49:25

Please google your local authority's reporting system for racist incidents in schools. It is statutory to report every single racist incident, and please have no fear in telling the head that you will be taking it further. Please don't pussyfoot around - you sound very passive - this needs to be dealt with decisively.

DashingRedhead Thu 21-Jun-12 22:51:44

WTAF? So it's ok to make someone's life a misery because they've got red hair and / or brown skin.

Unacceptable. On so many levels. Why is it ok to laugh at people who have red hair? Why is it ok to laugh at people who have brown skin? What about those of us with BOTH?

Sorry OP you touched a nerve there!

LoopyLoopsCorgiPoops Thu 21-Jun-12 22:53:14

It really isn't OK for red-headed people either. I have been challenging this a lot with students recently. However, with racism, it is illegal to not report.

tribpot Thu 21-Jun-12 22:59:35

Yes, I was about to make Loopy and Dashing's point too. Even if it was 'the same' as redhead teasing (which it emphatically is not) it is not acceptable.

Did the school not have Black History week a few months ago? (My ds did a collage about Rosa Parks, although I sense at 6 he can't really grasp what the sitting at the front of the bus stuff is all about). They really need to be addressing diversity in a more positive way, and comments like 'all brown skinned people are stupid' need to be dealt with extremely firmly.

redexpat Fri 18-Jan-13 18:58:09

A lot of redheads argue (quite rightly) that gingerism is the accepted face of racism. It's never acceptable.

Confused40 Thu 28-Feb-13 06:08:22

Didn't want to read this and run. There are grass roots educational support organisations/charities who can advise you of a course of action. The head has a duty of care to ensure children are kept safe and legally she has to abide to laws and standards.
Tel: 0207 7330297
They support children at school who are being racially bullied and specialise. Amazing organisation, and reputable too. Founder was in a mixed relationship, and was a head teacher and also worked for race equality council. The staff are very knowledgable!
Good luck

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