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HOW TO RESPOND TO RACIST REMARKS AT A SPECIAL SCHOOL?

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by pangar, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. Not for the first time, I am appalled by the de facto culture of racist remarks at a special school. The vast majority of the remarks are at the expense of the taxi drivers ferrying the students to and from the school. While I accept that troubled and troublesome students should not be held as accountable as others, I am very uncomfortable with this state of affairs, not least because I am well aware (as a male, working class foreigner in a profession where my face and voice are deemed to be out of place by many) that what the students are saying openly are prejudices shared by many privately in the wider society. Have colleagues had any success in countering such a 'culture'?
     
  2. I agree with R13-what kind of special school is it? In the special school I work at, one of the things I find most refreshing is the complete lack of prejudice amongst the students regarding race. There is one able student who will say the "n" word and this is dealt with by the staff supporting him but, other than that, I haven't heard any other racist language in the 3 years I have been here. I think my school intake is pretty similar to R13's from what I have read on here in the past so your school might be completely different.
     
  3. You should have a policy on this- ( I think it's a legal requirement to report incidences of racism) failing that, a whole school approach of zero tolerance. We can't necessaily alter attitudes from these students' homes, but we can show that in wider society, racist language is not acceptable. Immediate consequences- straight to SLT office- I would at some point discuss the history of some racist terms with the student and explain why they cause offense. You should not be dealing with this on your own.
     
  4. You should not be dealing with this on your own
    True, but I have made a career- such as it is- of being asked to do what others won't do. Self pity aside, I will flag up the matter at the next staff meeting, I will also mention it at my next union meeting. I suspect that my chances of success with both are slim to none- but at least my conscience will be clear there after.
    As for what sort of school it is, the students all have ADHD, with many of them presenting with ASD, SEBN, MLD...etc. None of them are vivious or vindictive but there are issues about boundaries and acceptable speech and behaviour. I gather that more of these 'difficult to manage' students will now be decanted from secondary schools now that free schools and academies have been given their head to act as they see fit when deciding to permanently exclude the students in their care.
     
  5. I have dealt with this as an HT at a SEN heavy small school. A combination of education in circle time. A school council to meet out sanctions for the worst offenders and a zero tolerance policy on er...intolerance have stood us in good stead. ADHD etc are no excuse for racism..but you are right in that many of the attitudes come from home. It is necessary to prepare these guys for the real world though. In the real world their comments are unacceptable and illegal. Unfortunately they are entitled to their opinions, all we can do is try to change them where possible and not to voice them when change is not forthcoming. Good Luck at that staff meeting.
     

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