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Schools 'cannot ignore racism'

30/10/2009 Joanna
Racism is still a problem in many schools and this cannot be ignored, says a London-based children's charity.

Claude Knights, director of Kidscape, said a major problem for schools is that children are learning discriminatory behaviour.

She noted that her organisation runs training sessions in schools where staff often hear evidence of racism.

Ms Knights accepted that the government and voluntary sector are working towards a solution, but questioned whether the right approach is being taken.

Her comments follow the publication of new research by civil liberties group Manifesto Club, which found 280,000 racist incidents have been reported in schools since 2002.

The report alleged that primary schoolchildren are punished for making comments they are too young to understand.

It added that 'diversity missionaries' sent into schools may create a greater divide between pupils by making them distinguish between people on the basis of race.

Written by Tim Colman

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