British schools are a foul swamp of thought and speech crimes. From nursery school on, the pupils commit the heinous hate crimes of racist, sexist and homophobic name calling. Thanks to New Labour the government and local authorities have taken up the virtuous war on discrimination terror. “Zero tolerance for intolerance” is the responsible guideline to smite the poisonous viper of early prejudice wherever it rises its ugly head. Since 2002 every offensive word heard on the playground or in the classroom is taken down by the teachers and a report with the names of the perpetrator and the victim together with a description of the circumstances and details of the offense and the punishment given is filed and delivered to the local authorities. There is a keen eye on the staffs who show a slacking attitude, and the schools which underreport are admonished to act up to their surveillance duties.
The numbers speak for themselves, should the public underrate the gravity of the problem. Schools report 40 000 incidents of racism a year!
The shocking character of the offenses was illustrated in a report published in Oct. 2009:
The report gives an example of a Racist Incident Referral Form which records the case of a girl who called a boy “white trash” during a primary school football game. She was “severely spoken to” and suffered “loss of lunchtime play”.
A five-year-old girl was told off and her parents were contacted when she refused to let a black girl join in a game, the report says.
On another occasion, a primary school pupil was “spoken to severely” and warned he could be reported to the head teacher and his parents after calling two classmates “a chocolate bar”.
And from an article in Jan. 2011:
Teachers logged more than 10,000 confrontations involving primary school students making racist insults or derogatory comments about homosexuals in 12 months.
A further 20,000 “hate crimes” were recorded against secondary school students such as using the phrases “white trash” or “gaylord” during playground squabbles.
And nursery school staff reported several dozen such bullying incidents involving young children despite most not understanding the meaning of what they were saying.
The figures for 2008/09, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, disclosed 29,659 racist incidents were reported by schools to local education authorities in England and Wales.
Of these, 10,436 were at primary schools and 41 were reported at nursery schools. More than 50 incidents involved police. Hundreds of incidents involved “homophobic” insults.
“I feel that childhood itself is under attack,” Adrian Hart, from the Manifesto Club, a civil liberies group, which obtained the figures.
“It’s absolutely the case that these policies misunderstand children quite profoundly.”
He added to the Daily Mail: “Racist incident reporting generates the illusion of a problem with racism in Britain’s schools by trawling the everyday world of playground banter, teasing, childish insults – the sort of things that every teacher knows happens out there in the playground.”
This zero-tolerance policy tells us less about the child than the mind-set of officialdom, increasingly obsessed with monitoring the most informal parts of social life.
A school playground is a mess of exuberant sociability, of running, shouting, falling-out, making-up, showing off and teasing. Now if a child uses a ‘wrong’ word there must be forms filled in and letters home, even a call from the police.
When anti-racist education is extended down to nursery schools, it means something quite different. Anti-racism becomes not about the worthy goals of equality and even-handedness, but about the management of subconscious thoughts and private relationships.
(…) Anti-racist policies override the judgments of teachers, parents and children alike. Many of these reported ‘racist incidents’ involve children who are friends, where the victim didn’t complain and the perpetrator could well be one Bangladeshi child teasing another.
The blue-eyed naiveity of the critic shows best here:
The idea that three-year olds can be ‘racist’, and require specialists to train them out of their prejudice, amounts to a notion that we are born sinners and only officialdom can save us. From their first words, apparently, children are ‘learning racism’ that must be monitored and corrected.
However, recent research by Professor Lord Winston provides evidence that children as young as four can hold racist views. In an experiment carried out for the BBC’s Child of our Time series, children were presented with a series of images of faces of men, women, boys or girls. Only one of the faces in each sequence was white.
Children were asked to pick out the face of the person they wanted as their friend and the person they thought would be most likely to get in to trouble.
Almost all white children in the survey associated positive qualities exclusively with photographs of white children or adults. More than half of the black children made the same associations.
In contrast, people with darker faces were viewed as troublemakers.
Of course it is correct that,
But it is the first step. The systematic unlearning of early prejudice has to be implemented in all nursery school teaching and day-care programs, and education classes for parents and future parents have to be mandated in order to make them fit to teach their children empathy and avoid the dangerous habit of light color preference which results in racism.
A few simple measures can help to pave the road to multiculturalism, the experts say:
Children should be provided with paper other than white to drawn on and paints and crayons should come in “the full range of flesh tones”, reflecting the diversity of the human race (…).
(…) [S]taff should be prepared to be economical with the truth when asked by pupils what their favourite colour is and, in the interests of good race relations, answer “black” or “brown”.
(…) [T]eachers should censor the toy box and replace the pointy black hat [of the witch] with a pink one, while dressing fairies, generally resplendent in pale pastels, in darker shades.
The scientific psychological explanation is easy to understand, even for non-academics:
If children develop positive associations with dark colours, the greater the likelihood that the attitude will be generalised to people, it says.
Despite people who feel defensive, one can hardly start the politically correct education too early, according to the nursery experts:
The measures, outlined in a series of guides in Nursery World magazine, are aimed at avoiding racial bias in toddlers as young as two.
The war on discrimination terror among children can hardly be won without eradicating the evil before it can take root. Otherwise we fail on our grandchildren, as everyone agrees,
What we want for future generations is a sense of self that does not deny everyone else’s sense of self.