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Racism, was I right to get involved?

(20 Posts)
Badger62 Thu 13-Feb-14 12:32:55

I have a son who sports some slightly Asian features due to his grandfather on his dad's side being from Malaysia. Personally I think he is gorgeous but he has been experiencing some taunts at school which I have deeply upset him and us.
He is called Chink, has been told he has no rights because he is a Chink, has had someone tell him not to touch their things because they may get infected with "the Asian" and get slitty eyes.
On one occasion he missed school through illness and his mates refused to tell him which subjects he missed homework for because they say he belongs in a sweat shop with the rest of his kind.
They have worked out how to call him Yellow in at least four languages, enterprising but poisonous...
If he says "I didn't see that..." It is apparently due to the fact that he has slits for eyes.

His eyes are Asian shaped if there is such a thing but not overly so but it is clear that he has mixed blood somewhere in his line, he is definitely not yellow so am bemused as to the taunts.

I have called his teacher to ask her to deal with this as discreetly as possible but he begged me not to as he thinks everyone will avoid him and it will make it worse. He doesn't want the kids to see him as a pariah and a snitch but he is unhappy at school as a result of this and his grades are suffering and next year is start of GCSEs.

I know he is reactive and if he wasn't then maybe the other kids would leave him alone, but they taunt, he reacts and gets cross what can you do? Was I wrong to bring it to the teachers? This is. It just name calling is it, this is nasty stuff. Not sure what to do now though, this is not an inner city crap school it's a private school with a good reputation, advice would be helpful, anyone else had this go on?

magimedi Thu 13-Feb-14 12:36:53

I would go straight to the school. As well as being racist it is bullying.

NigellasDealer Thu 13-Feb-14 12:39:55

this happened to my friend's son who was half Sardinian and bit tan who was known as 'paki cunt' in his school - it depressed him so much he nearly topped himself.
so yes get involved asap it is completely unacceptable.

LadyMaryLikesCake Thu 13-Feb-14 12:40:01

sad That sounds horrible! My son's dyspraxic and struggles with his social skills, he gets called a 'retard' and all sorts! angry I've offered to go into school to speak to his tutor but he keeps saying that it will make things worse as the other boys will know that it was ds that complained and no one will listen to them anyway. He comes out with 'witty' remarks instead ("yo mamma is… ", "are you trying to compensate for having a small dick by being mean?") etc. It always makes the other boys laugh at the one who was mean.

Ds is at a private school with a good reputation too. Money doesn't make good manners, sadly.

MiniTheMinx Thu 13-Feb-14 12:43:00

Yes its racism and no you wouldn't get more of it in a "crap" inner city school, probably less.

I think you were right to talk to the school, hopefully they will discuss race/ism in a way in which doesn't make it clear its a reaction to anything happening in the school.

NigellasDealer Thu 13-Feb-14 12:44:29

you wouldnt get that in a 'crap inner city school' btw - it was a load of privately educated twits that introduced me to the word 'kaffir' btw which I had never heard before!

TheGonnagle Thu 13-Feb-14 12:49:44

Whaaat? Straight into school- make a massive fuss. That is utterly unacceptable and needs to be clamped down on hard.
Racism is a hot potato in schools, it should be handled instantly and effectively, anything less is just not good enough. I hope you get the help you need (fwiw, I don't think you'd get this in what you call a 'crap, inner city school' where children are generally far better at integration IME)

Lottiedoubtie Thu 13-Feb-14 12:54:49

You've definitely done the right thing. If the school is as good as you think it is it will be dealt with properly and your DS's life will improve.

If it doesn't, I'd move schools. You get ignorant racist kids in most places, but I couldn't stand having a DC go to school somewhere where they aren't equipped to stamp it out effectively.

MoominMammasHandbag Thu 13-Feb-14 12:59:01

What! You are actually paying for your kid to be bullied? Racism is always utterly unacceptable. In our bog standard comp they would be throwing the book at these kids.

Really, stop being so bloody apologetic, get a bit angry.

thereweareagain Thu 13-Feb-14 13:01:01

I could have written this about my son. He's been called yellow, Chinese, Paki, illegal immigrant etc. He is half white British and half Mediterranean. His skin is slightly tanned looking. Its not really about what he looks like, its simply a means to get at him.
We did tell the school although my son was very worried that he would become a pariah - however it improved matters a bit and gave him a break and although it didn't make him popular. It also made some of the nicer kids realise just how unkind this behaviour was. We did stress that it would help if teachers were a bit more vigilant - I sometimes felt that a bit more vigilance on their part might have avoided the 'snitch' tag. I accept they cannot hear everything but my son did look upset and withdrawn at times.
Things are better and my son is stronger and has found a few friends - and having a few friends makes you feel stronger in the face of it. However, it hasn't stopped it. I don't think it ever will. we have decided not to make a formal complaint again - I have simply asked his teachers to be vigilant but I have also told my son that he has to stop reacting and answering back because it is exacerbating the situation. I have sat and chatted to him and the agreement is that the situation will be monitored as long as he feels he can handle it - and handling it means he doesn't react. I gave him a set of worry beads that he uses when they start up their name calling - with the intention that he whilst putting his stress into the beads, he doesn't react. He says it helps him.
I hate the situation and its bullying and racist. I would love to go and shout from the rooftop but the priority has to be my son's happiness. So a more subtle approach, support from staff and teaching him coping skills is what we've chosen.
And yes, he's at a private school.

MoominMammasHandbag Thu 13-Feb-14 15:17:37

"Teaching him coping skills". Really? So you are paying for your child to learn to put up and shut up.
I'm sure that will do wonders for his sense of self worth.

thereweareagain Thu 13-Feb-14 17:15:33

Moo in - who are you to judge me? Yes I'm teaching him ping skills. Just as I've learnt to cope with people like you who make senseless and hurtful comments when they don't know me or my family.

Innogen Thu 13-Feb-14 18:09:01

Yes, go to school.

Actually, a crap inner city school is usually quite tolerant. They tend to be very mixed, and racism not tolerated by the boys - things like no racism campaigns in football have had a large effect.

MoominMammasHandbag Thu 13-Feb-14 18:09:52

I am perfectly entitled to comment on something you post on an Internet forum. If you had no choice I would feel more sympathy for you, but if you are paying for his education then why not pay for him to go somewhere that is not racist?

justanuthermanicmumsday Thu 13-Feb-14 18:28:11

I went to a crap inner city school my parents couldn't afford private. I never witnessed any racism in all my time there. That was the most positive aspect the intermixing and not seeming to care about colours, language, food, and clothing differences.

My sister however went to a posh girls school not private but on the outskirts and as close to private as you could get in her time. She is very narrow minded now, she says she can't help it because she was racially abused all throughout her school years and adult life too. The perpetrators were kids and adults too. No matter how I try to convince her she always thinks hatred is deep seated in them, she just doesn't trust people other than those from her own background. Stupid but I can't change her.

I'd expect change to occur or remove him, that's disgusting. I tend to think kids learn these attitudes from elders around them usually parents, but that's just my thoughts no scientific evidence. Or else why would innocent kids care about an individual's race so much?

. Personally I think Asians have fantastic genes without wishing to blow my own trumpet . They're probably envious of him and his good looks and brains. Usually the case.

I hope things improve for him very soon don't wait too long for change remove him before gcses start if the bullies persist.

Stricnine Thu 13-Feb-14 18:38:49

I work in a school (not a teacher) and that sort of behaviour would not be tolerated! schools have (usually) extremely good policies and practices for dealing with this sort of thing without involving the bullied person... they are very well aware of the impact of being seen as a snitch, so should always have generic sessions and events to promote equality - if they don't I would consider it's not best school for your son... that level of racism is not on regardless of paying or not... you need to stand up for your son!

finallydelurking Thu 13-Feb-14 20:59:11

OMG that is absolutely appalling! State schools are legally obliged to report any racist incident! And a racist incident is any that the recipient of the comment felt to be racist!

I am genuinely shocked. Your poor son.

IDontBowlOnShabbos Thu 13-Feb-14 21:18:24

Honestly your son is being bullied by these children and you definitely did the right thing by contacting the school about it. He may say not to get involved but that's just because he doesn't know how to deal with it and probably hopes it will stop.
He'll be thankful that someone (you) is in his corner, as the worst thing about bullying is the feeling that nobody cares and that maybe you deserve it which is what he'll feel if you minimise it.

amumthatcares Thu 13-Feb-14 21:22:03

On one occasion he missed school through illness and his mates refused to tell him which subjects he missed homework for because they say he belongs in a sweat shop with the rest of his kind

Some mates!!!

shey02 Mon 17-Feb-14 23:30:26

Really sorry you are all going through that OP. It has to be dealt with, what you report is vile and definitely up a notch from the 'norm'. Our school deals discreetly but TOUGH, thankfully with the victim's feelings in mind. It's horrible, soul destroying and you know, it's just anything that is slightly different is what these cretins latch on to. Stand up for your son, as the school should or look around for other options (schools).

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