How should children deal with racism and bullying in school?

kids in school

Different ways to identify, eliminate discriminatory behaviors in educational institutions.

The Black Lives Matter campaign has moved to the forefront of global attention after the horrific murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis officers. Many students around the world are front-runners of this movement.

For so many students sharing their negative experiences, it is deeply disheartening to learn that even young children are subjected to racism and harassment at school, which is meant to be the safest place on earth for them.

This movement has also found an important place on social media, where students are exchanging petition information, sharing resources on responsible protest practices, and healing from trauma.

As an adult, we need to first acknowledge that , perhaps, we failed our kids and that we don’t live in an equal society.

We understand that tackling racism in school is not an easy task but we believe that it is important to hear the experiences of students of color, and know that their experiences are valid. If you hear a student of color sharing their trauma, believe them and amplify their voices.

Kausar Mohamed who works in Dubai as a Psychologist and an HR strategist told us about ways to identify, eliminate discriminatory behaviors in educational institutions.

selfie of a girl

What should educational institutions do to ensure that all children get fair treatment?

Education is the backbone of society. Parents trust the school with the education, safety, and the well-being of their children. Although schools have bullying and prejudice policies, it is also found that such policies are not fully followed or controlled. Children are not fearful of the results even though they are aware of such measures.

Schools need to take the following steps;

  • Educate students on negative behavior, emphasize on the consequences and prevent such actions and claim responsibility  
  • Schools will need to educate parents about these policies and build awareness of the consequences.
  • There must be more stringent policies and actions in an attempt to stop this happening.
  • Additional support, counseling should be given to both the bully and the child who was bullied, since both need assistance and guidance.
  • The kid’s parents should be in contact with one another and the school should take the matter seriously.
  • For a child to nurture and grow, a safe environment is very absolutely essential, therefore the school should ensure that its institution can provide the same.

What should the parents do in these situations?

In these cases, even parents play a significant role. As parents, they need to develop awareness and explain the negative effects of being a bully to their children.

Parents should do the following when their child needs support, or when something suspicious is noticed;

Remain calm and be positive

The first step should be to speak to the school; A consistent and co-operative approach by both the home and school is important. You can always let your child know later what actions you have taken. Also, follow these points.

  • Encourage the kid to talk about it
  • Educate your kids on how to respect diversity
  • Create and be open to an inclusive culture.
  • Parents need to build an atmosphere that eliminates racism and prevents domestic violence.
  • Practice some strategies at home with your child to help them to stand and walk in a way that appears more confident

How must kids react in circumstances where they are bullied?

As a kid, one of the most difficult experiences can be going through racism and bullying at school. If children experience this in classrooms, they ought to do the following;

  • Talk to your parent or guardian on this
  • Tell “No! Firmly
  • Discuss it with a teacher or other member of staff
  • Give a quick response to surprise the other child

Tackling anti-racism in the classroom is no easy feat. The school, parents, and children all play very critical roles when coping with racism and bullying. As an institution, setting consistent standards on these issues and raising awareness is often crucial for the school. School officials need to step up, search into, and positively handle these events.

This article was published on SEPTEMBER 2, 2020

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