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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Voices
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

News
i100
Life and Style
The Tinder app has around 10 million users worldwide

techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Project Manager

Competitive: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsford a...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

IT Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album