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Children 'regularly subjected to hate crimes and hate speech at school'

12/04/2017 Joanna

Children 'regularly subjected to hate crimes and hate speech at school'

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Children in UK schools are regularly being exposed to hate crimes and hate speech while at school, according to a new survey of educational staff.

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) has published the findings of a poll of 345 of its members, revealing that 22 per cent believe their pupils have been subjected to hate crime or speech at school in the last academic year.

Of the 235 respondents who commented on the occurrence of hate crimes specifically, 17 per cent felt there had been an increase in the last year, while 12 per cent of the overall survey group said pupils were being bullied because of their ethnicity. A similar percentage cited incidents of children being victimised over their race or sexual orientation.

Meanwhile, 72 per cent of staff said the overarching reason why some pupils are bullied is because they are perceived as being different from the norm, highlighting the deep-rooted nature of these behaviours.

When asked about possible approaches to tackling this problem, 84 per cent of staff said they believe that education about hate crimes, hate speech and discrimination should be included in mandatory personal, social and health education classes.

Additionally, 33 per cent said they have not received any training on how to deal with hate crimes or speech, but that they would like some.

Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of ATL, said: "Schools need to play their role in educating children to build a culture of tolerance and respect.

"All schools should have robust bullying policies in place that cover how to deal with incidents of hate crime and speech; we hope that schools can support staff to educate young people in recognising and challenging hate crimes and hate speech wherever they occur."

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