Frontline role for schools in racism battle

LESSONS ARE to be introduced in school to teach children that it is "not British" to be racist. Pupils will be taught the benefits of living in a multi- cultural society as part of the "citizenship" lessons that are to form part of the National Curriculum.

The Home Office minister Mike O'Brien said the work would involve the parents of teenagers who show racist tendencies. Schools will also be encouraged to carry out "early intervention" initiatives to try to limit racist indoctrination at home. Racists will also be forced to pay reparations to the victims of their attacks.

Mr O'Brien said the problem of racism among some young whites had been starkly illustrated by the covert police film of the five men suspected of killing the black teenager Stephen Lawrence and the account of their actions in Sir William Macpherson of Cluny's report into the murder.

He said: "For many white people the report made deeply shocking reading. Perhaps some people needed to be shocked to get a passing idea of what it's like to be black or Asian in Britain."

Mr O'Brien, who pointed out that not all racists were white, and that young people as a whole were increasingly anti-racist, said the the programme could only succeed with the support of institutions. "It's going to be a long-term struggle. For the impact on white youth, it is important that we have more people from ethnic minorities in positions of authority in our society."

But the Home Office has been encouraged by the results of a series of projects aimed at challenging racism. In Bermondsey, south London, the National Youth Agency has backed a scheme which involves directly confronting known racist gangs and questioning them about their attitudes. The project, which included taking young people out of their predominantly white neighbourhood to mix with those from more ethnically diverse areas, led to a reduction in racist attacks in the area.

Meanwhile the father of Stephen Lawrence reacted angrily yesterday to the news that Gary Dobson, one of the five men suspected of killing his son, will take part in a radio phone-in programme today. Neville Lawrence said he was upset that Talk Radio was proceeding with the programme despite the family's opposition to the decision by ITV to broadcast interviews with the five suspects on last Thursday's Tonight programme.

"In the same way that we wanted nothing to do with the Tonight programme we want nothing to do with this ... I think [Talk Radio] have been completely insensitive and unconcerned about our feelings and our views."

A spokeswoman for Talk Radio said: "We decided it was a matter that was in the public interest and would give our listeners the first chance to speak to somebody involved in the case." She said Mr Dobson had approached the station with the idea and he was not being paid.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...

Recruitment Genius: 1st Line Technical Support Engineer

£19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company ar...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Manager - Visitor Fundraising

£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...

Recruitment Genius: Developer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future