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Teachers: PSHE: Prejudice

Last Updated: Friday November 19 2004 11:40 GMT


PSHE 11-14/KS3/Levels E&F
Prejudice and stereotypes


England's Shaun Wright-Phillips in action against Spain
Spanish fans' racist chants at England football players in a friendly between the two countries sparked outrage.

Students look at ways of tackling racism.

Learning aims

  • What is racism?
  • Different types of racism and discrimnation
  • Ways of tackling racism


    England player Rio Ferdinand has said he was ready to come off the field after Spanish fans hurled abuse

    Read out this story about racism in football.

    Ask students:

  • What is racism? Racism is treating someone differently or unfairly simply because they belong to a different race or culture.
  • What are the Football Association (FA) doing about the racist chants? They have sent a letter of complaint to the Spanish Federation. They have also put together a report for Fifa, the world football governing body, for an investigation into the racist abuse.
  • If racism is proved, what do you think the punishment should be? The Spanish FA could face a huge fine or Spain could even be handed a five-match ban. Some people say Spain should be forced to play its world cup qualifier games in empty stadiums.

    Main activity

    Students act as ChildLine counsellors.

    In 2000/2001 ChildLine received 525 calls and letters from children about racist bullying, and a further 47 calls and letters from children who had encountered other forms of racism.

    Using the printable worksheet, students read about some of them:

    Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira is leading his club's drive to get racism out of the beautiful game.

    1. Sharon, 16, is dating a Pakistani boy. Her parents are racist, so she has to keep her relationship a secret, which is making her feel anxious.

    2. Sandra, 11, is called racist names as she is black. She is scared to tell her teacher, in case the bullying gets worse.

    3. Ravinder, 15, is being beaten up by a group of boys at school, because he is Asian.

    4. Alice, 9, is being bullied at school, as she is the only white girl in her class.

    5. Clive, 13, has just moved to Scotland from England. A gang of Scottish boys at school calls him names.

    6. Sunitta, 14, is being called racist names at school. Racist comments are also written about her on the wall of the toilets. Her teacher hasn't done anything about it.

    7. Dina, 12, is teased because she is Italian. She has to have extra lessons for her English reading and writing. She feels nervous about going to school.

    Students imagine they are a ChildLine counsellor. What advice would they give these seven children?

    They write down one suggestion they would give each child.

    Then compare it with their partner's or other people's advice on their table.

    Students select the best piece of advice to give to each child.

    Pupils could also compare their group's advice to some suggestions made by ChildLine - see Teachers' Background below.

    Extension activity

    Getting bullied because of your colour

    Racists bully people who are different to them.

    Make a list of as many forms of discrimination as you can think of.

    Here's a few to start off with:

  • Racism
  • Ageism
  • Sexism

    Now have a look at our guide to see if there are any more you can add.


    Groups or pairs share their best piece of advice with the rest of the class and explain why they chose this above other suggestions.

    Teachers' background

    From the ChildLine webiste which has lots of useful information on racism and bullying for students and teachers - See link on the right hand side.

    How to put a stop to racist abuse

    1. Stop taking the abuse You don't have to accept this sort of hassle. Everyone has a right to live happily and free from discrimination, no matter what their nationality or race.

    2. Accept that you're not the one with the problem Your self-esteem may have taken a knock if you're having a hard time, but the thing you have to remember is that you are not the one to have caused the problem.

    3. Tell someone what's happening to you You don't have to suffer in silence. Think who's the best person to talk to about what's happening. Schools, police and employers have a responsibility to protect you. Other parts of your life will suffer if you keep silent. If the problem is at school, your work might deteriorate. Speak up now before the problem takes over. Why not try having a word with a ChildLine counsellor first to try out what you would like to say?

    4. Go for a team effort Get other people involved in tackling the problem - perhaps you could start an anti-racism project or newsletter at your school or youth group and invite an anti-racist speaker along. Or set up a discussion group to talk about relevant issues and see what you can do to help in your area.

    5. Make people take you seriously If you are going to alert someone to the fact that you're being threatened, abused or bullied, then do it properly. You have to be prepared to get across how just it is affecting your well-being.

    6. Keep some evidence of what's happening (a diary of events, for example) This might be useful to show others that you need help.

    7. Plan what you would like to happen Now go for it.

    8. Make other parts of your life even better Don't let racists ruin every area of your life. For example, if you're unhappy at school or work, then make sure you make up for the bad times by enjoying yourself at home or with your friends.

    9. Keep safe and aware You can't spend you life looking over your shoulder, but it pays to be aware of dangers. Stick with groups of friends if you feel vulnerable.

    10. Never give up! You might not be able to tackle racism by yourself. Seek out support and accept help where you can.The government has put anti-racist laws into place to protect all members of the community. In many schools young people and teachers work together to produce anti-bullying policies, which include sections on racist bullying.

    Equal opportunities

    Many companies, when advertising for jobs, try to attract applications from all ethnic minorities as well as all other sections of the community. This is called 'Equal Opportunities', and enables everyone who is applying for a job to have the same chance of securing a job, regardless of their race, culture, age, religion, colour, marital status, gender, sexuality or disability.

    The law

    The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 strengthens The Race Relations Act 1976 in Great Britain, which makes it illegal to discriminate in the fields of employment, education, housing, and the provision of goods, services and facilities. In addition to this, the amendment also extends to the Public Sector. The Race Relations Order 1997, which applies to Northern Ireland, covers the same issues.

    Both these UK Government Acts give people the right to bring their complaint before an employment tribunal or a court. Racist incidents ranging from harassment and abuse to physical violence are offences under the criminal law. Inciting racial hatred is also a criminal offence. Racially offensive material in the media contravenes media codes of practice. Complaints can be made to the Press Complaints Commission or the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

    For hundreds more lessons click on the Teachers button on the left hand side.

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