“We are Great Britain because we are united by values such as democracy, free speech, mutual respect and opportunity for all. We are the sum of all our parts – a proud, diverse society. Hatred does not get a seat at the table, and we will do everything we can to stamp it out.”
– Amber Rudd, Home Secretary
The Home Secretary is absolutely right – but what can we do about it? On 30th October 2009, Ian Baynham died as a result of a hate crime attack. More than 10,000 people attended a candle-lit vigil in Trafalgar Square after the incident. The vigil created such an emotional response, that Mark Healey decided to launch the idea of holding a National Hate Crime Awareness Week (NCHAW). NCHAW, which takes place each October, is not only designed to heighten awareness of this invidious offence, but also offers the opportunity for anyone who knows or suspects hate crime incidents can report them to the police.
Sadly, hate crime is not just limited to adults, but affects our children too. To help teachers effectively deal with hate crime in schools, the government has published a pack in collaboration with the Crown Prosecution Service, the National Union of Teachers and the Anthony Walker Foundation. This pack is designed to provide a resource that helps schools to promote understanding of what racist and religious hate crimes are.
Here are a few activities that you could be used in the classroom:
This contains an introductory warm up activity to teach pupils about racially and religiously motivated incidents. The activity is an icebreaking session in the form of a who’s who quiz, it is a photo quiz that looks at stereotyping. Additionally, a DVD with a series of filmed scenarios is provided for discussion and classroom activities, which is divided into two sections. The first part of the PowerPoint presentation has seven embedded film adaptations that are based on real experiences. It is advisable for teachers to show it to the entire class and only then start the discussion.
During the discussion, you could ask the pupils what happened in the clip and why it is significant. For instance, one of the videos shows a girl covering her head with a hijab (part of a Muslim girl’s religious identity) and boys call her a ‘Paki’. Ask the class how they think the girl felt at the end of the clip. End the session by ensuring that the students have knowledge of Internet safety and reporting procedures.
The partnership incorporates another DVD for Section two. This plays interviews of young people talking about their experiences – what actually happened to them, and how and why they were discriminated against and bullied. After watching the video, ask your pupils to make notes and discuss their opinions and views on how they could make a difference. Finally, tell the pupils you will be showing them some video clips of people who have advice for them.
Although these activities are optional and additional, it is worth implementing at least a few of these, as they will deepen the pupils’ understanding of the impact of racist behaviour and help them prevent such incidents. Start by distributing a list of racist and religious hate incidents in school and read through it with the class. Ensure that your pupils understand the issues, give them time to read it and ask if they have any questions. Most importantly, explain the concept of hate crime to students and its legal consequences.
However, you won’t necessarily witness hate crimes only on school premises. Internet hate crime is also on the rise. The Internet has brought us many positive things, so it is important that we present a balanced view of the Internet to our children. If you would like to learn more about an e-Safety solution that provides students with a secure on-line learning environment and help to combat hate crimes in schools, contact us today.