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Put my mind at rest - dd2 to be one of only 5 white girls in new class of 30

(103 Posts)
Bedward Fri 12-Jul-13 09:24:26

That's it really. dd2 went to her induction at her new school, yesterday. She was v excited - only one from her primary going, but dd1 already there. About half the new school are from different ethnic minorities and dd2 is fine with that - all dd1's friends at the school are from different ethnic backgrounds in fact. But it just so happens that dd2's form is 25/30 non-white. When I met up with dd2 after her induction, she looked slightly nervous and crestfallen - she's very sociable and easy-going, but her current school is virtually totally white (village school).

Please tell me it's going to be ok - I tried to reassure her she'll be fine, but I think the reality of going to a school where she knows no-one and worries she may not fit in, are now becoming real. sad

tabulahrasa Fri 12-Jul-13 10:41:42

When I started school there were two other white children in my's only something I noticed years later, at the time it made chuff all difference to me.

Why on earth would it affect anything?

Roshbegosh Fri 12-Jul-13 10:42:31

I think to be fair to OP, if DD is Jewish and the school is predominantly Muslim it might not be easy. One of DS's friend's parents have stopped him attending culture and ethics because they don't want him learning about Jewish people. Honestly, fuckwits!
I'm not Jewish myself but I do think OP's concerns are reasonable and not necessarily to be brushed off as racism. A good mixed school is perfect but not one where DD will feel isolated.

Bedward Fri 12-Jul-13 10:43:44

noddyholder - I'm glad you think my fears are groundless though it is not "racist drivel" - it would be racist if I said I didn't want my dd to be friends with people from other races - it is not racist to be worried if they will want to be friends with her.

I'm worried because I love my dd and don't want her to feel excluded as she is already nervous about starting secondary school.

ImNotBloody14 Fri 12-Jul-13 10:46:59

I really hope her crestfallen look was due to not knowing anyone rather than most of her class being non- white.

But that rather begs the question- why the skin colour mention in the title?

Odd attitude

ImNotBloody14 Fri 12-Jul-13 10:50:25

Btw is it all girls school? No boys?

TantrumsAndBalloons Fri 12-Jul-13 10:50:41

But you are making an issue that she is the one of the few white children. you are worried.

Why would they exclude her for being white? Why are you assuming these other children are racist enough to ignore your DD for being white?

noddyholder Fri 12-Jul-13 10:52:11

You are mixing up colour and religion all over the place. You say her current school is all white but you do not know the religious backgrounds of all these children

Zyn Fri 12-Jul-13 10:52:38

I think being noticeably different could be hard for a child, so I don't think the OP should be given a tough time. There is one black child in my son's class and I sometimes wonder if she looks around the class and thinks, one of these kids is different, and, oh crap! it's me. But this child is very confident and happy and never left out.

Bedward Fri 12-Jul-13 10:58:52

Tantrums - no, I was not worried and it did not cross my mind. I know the school and know it is very ethnically mixed and am fine with that. I just noticed dd was looking a bit down and asked her why, and after a bit of hesitation, she mentioned the ratio.

noddy - it was a thread title, so 'white' is shorthand and the opposite of 'white' is not 'black' here.

Dollybird86 Fri 12-Jul-13 11:03:10

I started secondary as 1 of 2 mixed raced girls onu year & was fine. She will be fine its only an issue if u make it one!

noddyholder Fri 12-Jul-13 11:03:48

You have lost me now. She seems to like her current school and I am sure even though the children may all be white they won't all have the same religious background. The problem you raised with the new school seemed to be based on colour initially unless I misunderstood. Either way I doubt the children will leave her out

RestingUnderTheSun Fri 12-Jul-13 11:04:31

I think the OP has explained her fears very well. She knows by experience with her older dd that her friends do not socialize with her out of school.
She also knows from experience that the religious difference can be an issue.
So she is worried about her younger dd who will have with poepl from different background that will be unwilling to do so out of school (or that their parents will be unwilling for their children to socialize with her). because that will mean she most certainly will not be able to socialize with anyone out of school and that sounds a very sad state of affairs

It's not an issue with race as such. It's an issue with numbers and cultural differences (whihc may be linked with their race).
In a class where you have more a mix, then you have more choice as to who you can/want to befriend and have opportunity to socialize with in the future.

OP I would take the stance of not being worried about it. use your elder dd as an example and how it is working well for her.
In the mean time, try and ensure that dd2 can socialize outside of school too.
And see how things go in next year. If this creates an issue because she feels completely left out, the you can still reassess the situation (whilst making it clear it's not a race issue to your dd)

Bedward Fri 12-Jul-13 11:05:30

noddy - yes, I am mixing up colour and religion because they are two linked issues. But very hard to tease out two separate threads here.

eg children who come from families with similar cultural backgrounds may tend to hang out together more. But that culture could be based on language, religion, country of origin etc - 'colour' or 'ethnicity' are very poor descriptors of those issues. Colour especially - the thread title necessarily over-simplified things, but it's not whether someone is pink or brown or beige or whatever that matters, but whether many groups of girls have a shared culture that dd does not. As adults, that is not a problem but for a 11 year old with no friends, it is not 'racist' to be worried that she might find it hard to fit in, it is natural, unless the child is v v confident.

Bedward Fri 12-Jul-13 11:06:55

Thanks, Dollybird smile .

I specifically did not make it an issue and said she'd be fine. End of.

I am posting here so I can believe that 100%!

MikeLitoris Fri 12-Jul-13 11:08:18

I can completely understand what you mean about the social aspect. The children in dd's year simply do not socialise outside of school. they are invited to come to our house and always decline, there are no birthday parties.

Dd did take it quite hard when she moved to her current school as the previous school she was in she had a very close group of friends. I've raised this on mn before and others don't have the same issue. Hopefully your dd wont either.

Luckily we live close enough that dd can still see those friends.

RestingUnderTheSun Fri 12-Jul-13 11:08:18

OP is it also possible that your dd was worried that, because of the ratio she saw, she felt the odd one out and thought she wouldn't fit?

So on the top of been worried to go to secondary, it suddenly look even more alien to her?

Bedward Fri 12-Jul-13 11:08:28

RestingunderTheSun - thanks. That explains what I am trying to say very well.

SanityClause Fri 12-Jul-13 11:08:41

DD1 is at a school which is fairly culturally diverse. I think it's about 30-40% ethnic minorities, and there are lots of girls from other European backgrounds, as well (I'm not sure you would count them as being from an ethnic minority, although they are from a cultural minority).

At first, when she would mention a name, I would usually have no idea whether that person's family was of African origin, or Asian, or European. (None of Tilly, Jennie, Rochelle or Francesca are white European, for example.) It was never an issue to her, and isn't to me.

She isn't one of the "cool" girls in the class, but is quite pleased that she speaks to all the girls in the class at least once a week, for one reason or another (different classes, clubs, catching the same train, etc.)

She has been invited to the houses of many of the girls, and meets up with them for outside school socialising. This includes girls of all different cultural backgrounds.

DD2's and DS's schools are less culturally diverse, but both have close friends of other ethnic backgrounds. Those children are certainly not "left out", although they are part of a cultural minority within the schools.

Bedward Fri 12-Jul-13 11:09:12

Both posts!! Totally.

RestingUnderTheSun Fri 12-Jul-13 11:09:47

xpost. You obviously have answered my question already.

Bedward Fri 12-Jul-13 11:12:28

Thanks, Resting - x-posted indeed, as you summed up what I was tring to say better than I did!

dd2 is very far from racist, she gets on with everyone. But she is little girl starting a big school on her own, and it is hard for all of them...

Bedward Fri 12-Jul-13 11:13:45

Thanks to those saying their dds are fine in this situation.

Less thanks hmm to those telling me that dd's fears make her/me a racist.

Kez100 Fri 12-Jul-13 11:14:11

I think it's exciting.

So much nicer to be amongst a mix of children - the world is really a small place nowadays and appreciating that through being able to make friends with all ethnicities at such a young age is a wonderful thing.

Bedward Fri 12-Jul-13 11:18:35

Thank you, Kez. Exactly what I need to hear. smile

I think I do think that too, and in many ways the school is really good at integrating all the girls and they do all seem very respectful of each others' faiths/cultures. And that's great.

But dd2 is my baby - so nerves creep in.

FeegleFion Fri 12-Jul-13 11:23:37

I think children don't see any children with a different colour of skin from their own as anything other than children until they witness the adults around them making a distinction, IYSWIM.

I'm absolutely sure your DD will be fine. She'll have a ball with all of her new friends.

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