In a recent interview the “Head of Britain’s ‘strictest school” claimed that black children were using the ‘race card’ when in trouble.
The rhetoric is that of an aging, white, conservative male trying to dismiss the divisive legacy of the British empire but the words belong to a youngish “women of colour” (pictured above).
I wonder how she can feel so comfortable with her blackness being used to validate the notion that racism does not exist in the education system.
I wonder how her family feels when her words are used as ammunition to shoot down the varied and valid experiences of BAME people. How confortable they feel that knowing she has told parents to ignore reports of racism from their children.
With her claim that troublesome black children play “the race card’, I wonder if the irony that her race is the only reason she’s being given air time is lost on her? Does she realise that she’s the black ace being played by racists?
Racists who use her words as soundbites to prevent education reform.
And as school “Punishments” which disproportionately affect BAME students, align more and more with prison systems (solitary/isolation booths, saturday detentions, detentions for low level behaviours etc) our schools need reforming.
Our National Curriculum, underpinned by Britain’s perspective of history as a PR exercise – needs reforming.
Testing methods which rely on teacher assessment, easily suspectable to teacher bias – needs resisting.
Catchment areas of *good schools*drawn around property prices – needs revising.
The reduced government funding – needs reversing.
Obviously, this not a post discussing whether teachers are or are not racist. I am referring to the structural racism in our education system (see below for further reading) harming our children. The children that head teachers should be trying to protect, not further alienate.
Recommended Reads x
Tell It Like It Is-How Our Schools Fail Black children
Natives by Akala
“How the West Indian Child is Made Educationally Subnormal in the British School System”
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