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"Comedy" racism

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by brewer86, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. brewer86

    brewer86 New commenter

    With the rise of shows and movies such as Family Guy, Borat etc which use racial groups as a form of humour I've noticed a rise in this at school.

    While you can tell from the context that it is intended in a humourous way, I wondered how you deal with it?

    In a recent example I sent the offending child to isolation as per the behaviour policy at school, but he was already on his second strike. I don't know how I would have dealt with it if he hadn't been on this already. Do I jump over a few steps for this? While I know racism is unacceptable in all forms, I knew the context was in the same vein as if a bunch of my mates were out and about and someone called someone else a "gaylord" or similar and that no one was to be offended.

    What are your thoughts? Skip over the behaviour policy, or use it as is? People kept saying to me on my NQT year to keep consistent (and that seems to be the main message from Toms book which I'm currently reading) - but doesn't that show that you're ok with it if an incident (however much of a joke it is intended to be) as serious as racism is just treated the same as if someone has shouted out in class, and then if you move straight up the ladder isn't that inconsistency?

    While I'm happy with the way I dealt with it in my own class I wondered what peoples thoughts would be on a slight twist to the situation?
  2. spiderwomen

    spiderwomen New commenter

    I'm assuming you're talking about Secondary pupils. I actually work in the primary sector and don't come across that much racism amongst the children. However, to your thread on how you deal with comedy racism- maybe you shouldn't get heated about it, and make it into a serious issue. Making jokes about religions, races and differences isn't racism, as actual racism is vicious and violent with an intent too harm- try not to confuse the two. I know it's not the greatest advice but it's the best I can offer.
  3. Surely that depends on the content of the joke, seeing as most jokes are made at the expense of someone or something else, and a racially themed joke is going to make use of stereotypes which ARE harmful, especially around impressionable younguns.
  4. his5jw

    his5jw New commenter

    In a similar vein I was recently on a school trip with Y7s where they were allowed cameras and one tried to take a picture of one of his best mates and the best mate replied 'Why are you trying to take a picture of a child? Are you a paedophile?'. The context was clearly a joke and they both laughed. I pretended I didn't hear anything but it bugged me.
    When I asked another twentysomething colleague what she would have done she said she wouldn't know either as it's difficult given that they will obviously have heard that kind of thing on Family Guy as you could just imagine Stewie Griffin saying it and it was hard to know what to do given that we ourselves as young teachers watch that programme and find it hilarious. When one of the funniest supporting characters on the show is a neighbourhood paedophile what do you do if you hear that kind of humour.
    I know that if that kind of comment was taken to SLT who wouldn't understand the context the child in question would probably get in serious trouble and why would I want to get a nice child who was only repeating something off the telly in serious trouble,
    I'm not their parents at the end of the day and it's not my responsibilty that at the age of 11 they are being allowed to watch 15 rated shows.
  5. brewer86

    brewer86 New commenter


    Luckily the HOY is fairly young and got that it was out of context trying to be funny, but with our high asian population I didn't really want a comment such as "I'd never get on a plane with an Indian - they're all terrorists" to go unpunished (in fact even without the high population its still pretty unacceptable).

    The HOY gave the lad a long talk about exactly who Al Qaieda (sp?) are and then got the lad to publically apologise to the group for his comments later in the lesson.


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