Sharp rise in race attacks in Glasgow schools


Concern over rise in racially motivated attacks in Glasgow's schools

19th January 2015 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Schools in Glasgow have witnessed a sharp rise in racially motivated attacks on pupils.

A freedom of information request showed Glasgow City Council recorded 18 attacks in 2010 but 46 last year, an increase of 155% while the overall number of racist incidents in Glasgow schools has also gone up from 128 to 145 in the four years from the beginning of the decade - an increase of 13%.

Incidents reported included physical assault, verbal abuse and ridiculing cultural differences.

Jatin Haria, executive director of the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights, said: "Our previous research into racist incident reporting showed that the practice was fairly poor across Scotland.

"We also know that many incidents aren't recorded, so the official figures are just the tip of the iceberg.

"Racism affects people of all ages in Scotland, and this needs to be openly discussed. We need to identify better ways to educate young people so that they don't take on board the racist attitudes they see in wider society - what's being done at the moment clearly isn't working."

An investigation into the rise in assaults has been called for by the Scottish National Party's education spokeswoman, councillor Mhairi Hunter.

She said: "Any increase in racially motivated attacks is concerning, especially when they involve children.

"The council has good policies in place to promote multi-cultural and anti-racist education but we can't be complacent.

"I am going to ask for a paper to be brought to the Children and Families Policy Development Committee so we can consider if there are further steps the council can take."

Executive Director of the Scottish Parent Teacher Council, Eileen Prior, said from it had to be acknowledged that schools reflect what is happening in wider society, and it is a sad fact that violence and prejudice exists outwith schools.

She added: "Glasgow City Council and many other organisations, as well as parents and pupils, are addressing racism and discrimination in school. This is a serious issue and one where all parties share a common perspective of zero tolerance."

A spokeswoman for Glasgow City Council said they do take a zero tolerance approach to racism in the classroom.

She added: "We have specific curriculum lessons in place from nursery to secondary school to tackle this issue and our schools will continue to do all that they can to educate our young people about all nationalities and races living together in harmony."