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Racism still blights teenagers lives

Sarah Page senior lecturer in Sociology and criminality, Staffordshire University published a recent study on the experience of black British teenagers and racism.

Watching the events in America it is often assumed that the UK does not have a race problem.  

Sarah Page undertook a study evaluating the experience of black British teenagers, based in the Midlands. The research findings outlined that teenagers report experiencing racism. Muslim girls told the researchers that other pupils pulled their headscarves off. A Teenager reported he was kicked during football. 

They report a lack of action by the schools, not adequately addressing racist bullying. Some teens reported teachers favoring white pupils and that they did not punish fairly after racist incidents. 

Most teachers are white and these issues could be the result of ineffective and insufficient training in issues of racism. They may also be unaware of their white bias. 

The study found that there is a real lack of Diversity in teacher’s backgrounds, and black and ethnic minority teachers are under represented. 

Failures in the curriculum, lack of diversity in teachers may be contributing to the under achievement of black Caribbean pupils, particularly for boys in school. 

Young people said they wanted more diversity in the curriculum and that school did not teach sufficiently about racism. 

Young people are clear that significant change is required in the UK, to address race inequality,  racism and discrimination.

They suggested better education is vital. I believe especially now after the Covid pandemic, education will be the route out of poverty, and all pupils should have access to effective support. There should be more representation in all areas of education.

This lack of action has been criticised by anti-racism campaigners, for example the black curriculum campaign, calling for black history to be included in the curriculum.  

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