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  #21  
Old 04.12.2011, 09:24
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Re: Racist remarks at school

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To give you an example. It was in the 6th primary class. Our good friend Pierre, son of a "mildly" Jewish couple, one evening got heavily insulted by a group from our class. One boy managed to retreat back towards school, knowing that Mrs Eickhoff would approach by the minute (enroute to the train-station). Mrs Eickhoff terminated the thing but did not say much. We learnt the next morning that she had spent much of the night with the parents of Pierre preparing a very special 4 hours morning for our class. Which contained A) a short-cut history of WW-II, B) a short-cut history of the holocaust, and C) a slides show of the worst photos of war-bombed Germany I have ever seen, and the worst photos from the concentration camp actually available (then and still). Mr+Mrs H. agreed with Mrs Eickhoff that the problem could NOT be tackled by punishable actions but had to be tackled by giving REAL information. She never revealed the names of the culprits, and they never got any punishment, and the witness had to promise NEVER to reveal the names. Mrs Eickhoff made it plainly clear that we here were facing a rather general and rather social problem, which had to be looked into in a serious way.

That the same Mrs Eickhoff three months later, after the assassination of John F. Kennedy used the 3 hours on the Saturday-morning after to give us a short-history of the USA, a short compilation of the life of JFK, and a short compilation about USA+CH constitutions and the latest news from the USA may give you an idea about this unforgettable personality (I mean Mrs Eickhoff and NOT J.F.K. !)
A perfect example of ignorance breeds fear which breeds resentment which breeds, in this case, discrimination. To tackle this particular episode with education, information and reality was a stroke of genius by the teacher.

It's not the symptoms of racism/discrimination that need tackling, it's the root of it and kids are the easiest people to start with.
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Old 04.12.2011, 09:36
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Re: Racist remarks at school

There is no racism in Switzerland. Tell your child to shake hands with the purported offender at the end of the day and all will be well.
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  #23  
Old 04.12.2011, 09:47
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Re: Racist remarks at school

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A perfect example of ignorance breeds fear which breeds resentment which breeds, in this case, discrimination. To tackle this particular episode with education, information and reality was a stroke of genius by the teacher.

It's not the symptoms of racism/discrimination that need tackling, it's the root of it and kids are the easiest people to start with.
That means first to acknowledge and admit that racism exists in a particular society.(not talking only of Switzerland)
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Old 04.12.2011, 09:50
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Re: Racist remarks at school

Racism is also an issue in Eglisau, where my kids go to school.
I was very surprised last year they invited an African children's book writer who has been living in Switzerland for some time... the guy has a great, very open personality, loves the kids and very easy going... He made a presentation of his book followed by a lively discussion with a good dose of humor. When he left, ALL the kids -from 1st class to 6th, were treating him as their friend and waving to him from the other side of the street. I will look the name of this writer up and post it for you. An excellent way to ease racism in the school, although I would also go talk to the teacher.
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Old 04.12.2011, 09:56
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Re: Racist remarks at school

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Sorry Kittster but I have ask? It's not just kids you know! How often do we ostrasize people, we all do it all the time. There's the Boss, he never gets invited out on many of those friday nights 'for drinks'. There's that aunty, who allways knitted us bad sweaters, the work colleuge that's just not fast enough, etc, etc, etc...
Sometimes we can't even help ourselves. It's usually easier to mob than to defend the mobbed!
Discrimination is a human thing, not a kid thing, I completely agree. But while kids are relatively defenseless, adults by then know how to protect themselves against mobbing.

People will mob when they feel the support of their lame buddies behind their backs. Adults do it all the same. One isolated person who faces consequences will hardly mob somebody else, or pick on him/her. It's always easier to pick on somebody, when the mobster has a group of crownies behind.

It's good to explain the mechanics to kids already. Isolated child, child that sticks out for whatever reason (just like adults, pretty much) is always exposed to menace. I think it would be practical to teach a kiddo to surround themselves with friends (despite of maybe not really really even liking these kids), always walk/work in group, travel with peers, talk often to teachers, cooperate well with teachers, be noticed by teachers, by any adults in the school and afterschool..The change of MO might trigger some jealousy by mob crowd at first, but sooner or later, this kind of visibility, together with having social network will probably shut the little mob gobs.

Being different is a fact of life for some, sooner they learn how to deal with it, sooner they get the social groups dynamics, better they will handle situations that will come.

Communication in the family, with the teacher is a key, the kiddo needs to have people he can confide in, share, in case things get even more intense. Parents should communicate with the teacher, but discretely, I wouldn't even probably say anything to your son about it, not yet.
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Old 04.12.2011, 10:27
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Re: Racist remarks at school

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That means first to acknowledge and admit that racism exists in a particular society.(not talking only of Switzerland)
The fact that there is legislation in place in Switzerland and other countries suggests that racism's existence has been acknowledged so this isn't the problem. Changing people's attitudes and beliefs is a whole different ballgame and a bit more tricky.

I think Wolli's teacher had the right idea - you have to keep chipping away wherever it rears its ugly head.
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  #27  
Old 04.12.2011, 15:11
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Re: Racist remarks at school

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The fact that there is legislation in place in Switzerland and other countries suggests that racism's existence has been acknowledged so this isn't the problem. Changing people's attitudes and beliefs is a whole different ballgame and a bit more tricky.

I think Wolli's teacher had the right idea - you have to keep chipping away wherever it rears its ugly head.
You are right, and I was thinking more of "attitudes and beliefs" - the hardest to change and the root of trouble.

As for the anti-discrimination legislation (which I think most of the countries adopted it first of all to show off their civility and because everybody else is doing it and then, maybe.. ) we probably know it doesn't really work all the time. I guess if we would ask any lawyer how many discrimination cases has he won or even considered to take on, we would be certain it's all nice and well thought, but on paper. In reality it is difficult for someone to prove he or she is being discriminated against, there will always be things the other party would bring to their own defence. Even more difficult in cases of mobbing.
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