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Racism/bullying in school

(8 Posts)
Mamaka Sat 22-Oct-16 14:56:06

Sorry if any of the following terms offend anyone, these are the terms my dh uses at home. Anyway...

My dc are mixed race. Dd has just started school. There is one other girl in her class who is black and the 2 have become good friends. We have had the friend and friend's older sister over to play a few times. The sister likes to come and hang out with me in the kitchen while the little ones play.

This morning the sister told me that she is one of 2 black girls in her class and there is another girl who thinks it's funny to call them by each other's names cos they "look the same". She said it really annoys her. I was caught off guard and didn't know what to say and then she changed the subject. I thought this was awful. If they were adults it would be racism. As they are children and I don't think children can have racist intentions as such, it is ignorance and bullying and needs dealing with.

If this were my own child I would go into school and speak to the teacher and ask them to deal with it appropriately, ie through education and not punishment. I might also try to befriend the other mum and talk about it with her. As it's not my child I'm struggling to know what is appropriate (I have poor boundaries in all aspects of life and am working on them!)

Should I tell the mum of the girl who told me? Or would this be breaking her confidence? Should I tell school? Should I tell the girl to tell school/mum?

sansXsouci Sat 22-Oct-16 16:15:53

Personally I would tell the mum, so she can talk to the class teacher about it who then can talk to the class about being nice to each other etc.

ThatStewie Sat 22-Oct-16 16:18:31

I'd talk to the teacher. It is bullying and racist. The school needs to deal with it and sometimes they are more likely to do so if the parent raising the issue isn't the mother of the child.

Mamaka Sat 22-Oct-16 19:33:21

Thanks both. I would like to tell the mum really but past experience tells me she won't approach the school. I would tell the school but if the mum finds out will it look interfering?

Mamaka Sat 22-Oct-16 19:41:57

ThatStewie that is what I wondered, they may take it more seriously coming from someone not related to the situation. Does it matter that I don't know the name of the girl that has done it?

pocketsaviour Sat 22-Oct-16 19:43:36

I am white. I have had a LTR with a black man and while we didn't have a child together, I became close to his youngest DD (who was mixed race as his previous wife was white) and his oldest DS who was black - mum of West Indian descent.

The whole "I can't tell black people apart and I accidentally call them by each others names" thing is a massive cliche of being a person of colour. It is also, sadly, something that happens pretty much from birth to death. It's a micro-aggression, not a major one.

I do not think talking to the teacher will achieve anything. I think the kindest thing to do would be to talk to the mum, but only casually. Like "Your DD told me that one of the kids in class frequently gets her mixed up with [other child]. Annoying, right?!"

If the DD says anything similar to you again, I think the best way to react is "That must have felt quite sad/strange/weird" or even just "How did that make you feel?" Let HER lead the conversation. Use reflecting language, validate her feelings and let her express them.

There's a fine line here. I (as a white person) have sometimes been called by the name of someone else who is similar looking to me. I am also really crap at names and faces. However I would not ever advance that information when talking to a person of colour about this issue, because I don't wanna be whitesplaining!

Mamaka Sat 22-Oct-16 20:31:57

Pocket - agree with all you said except that the girl who was telling me seemed to think it was done on purpose because the offending girl "finds it funny".

Atenco Sat 22-Oct-16 21:13:20

I think she needs some kind of smart comeback line, however my brain is too addled to think of one.

I'm a blonde in Mexico and Mexicans seem to think that people like me all look alike too; the number of times I am told about someone who is the spit of me...

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