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New primary school anti-racism initiative launched

The project was launched by Trinity College after it emerged children as young as 5 or 6 were being target by racist bullying

The Be Fair workbook
The Be Fair workbook
Image: Be Fair

A NEW PROGRAMME urging school children to ‘say no to racism’ has been launched by Trinity College Dublin.

The university’s Children’s Research Centre and Children, Migration and Diversity Project has launched the Be Fair initiative, which they say aims to raise awareness of the importance of being fair and respectful to all children in school communities, irrespective of their backgrounds.

The centre began working on the initiative after recent research showed that racial bullying and racist behaviour was being targeted towards children aged as young as five or six in primary schools.

Professor Robbie Gilligan, associate director of the Children’s Research Centre, said that the Be Fair initiative:

sets out to highlight that all children are different and all deserve to be treated with respect.

Fact Sheet

The Be Fair project has produced a fact sheet, Children and Racism: What Can Your School Do?, which will be distributed to teachers in every primary school in Ireland this month.

The fact sheet provides information about racism and aims to stimulate discussion among teachers and  children, say Be Fair. “It also encourages schools to ensure that policies and practices are adapted to tackle racism,” they add.

It covers how schools can deal with racism, how to recognise the issue, and the harmful effects of racism.

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After receiving feedback from teachers and children who took part in a recent study carried out by the Children’s Research Centre/TCD, the Be Fair project is also piloting a workbook. This book has been developed for teachers to use as a resource for children in 4th, 5th and 6th classes.

The workbook will also be available to download through the project’s website, which also provides information and links on the research into racism in schools nationally and internationally.

Read: Four in five people fail to report incidents of racism – report>

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