'Landmark' racism victory for lecturer

SCHOOLS and colleges must take action to stamp out racial discrimination after a 'landmark' finding by an industrial tribunal, the Commission for Racial Equality said yesterday.

Stanley Jenkins, a lecturer, was found to have been subjected to 'institutional discrimination and victimisation' in what is thought to be the first case of racial abuse in educational establishments to have been adjudicated by a tribunal.

The tribunal at Ashford, Kent, which sat last year, but which has only recently issued its findings, has yet to make an award for damages.

Mr Jenkins, 59, a black law lecturer, claimed he endured eight years of racist abuse and discrimination by students at Thanet College, in Broadstairs, Kent, and that the college failed to take action to stop it.

He said that after making his first complaint to the tribunal he was victimised by the college, which cut his teaching hours and threatened him with disiciplinary action if he refused to undertake teacher training.

Chris Boothman, CRE legal director, hailed the finding as a 'landmark' decision with implications for all employers, but particularly for educational establishments.

'Any employer that's faced with a situation where an employee is complaining of racial harassment must take action - that's effectively what the tribunal is saying,' he said.

Mr Jenkins had complained that students called him 'nigger', 'sambo' and 'wog'.

The tribunal found the college showed 'an innate tendency to disbelieve' his allegations. 'We consider that the way Mr Jenkins had been treated was, in the truest sense, institutional discrimination and victimisation,' it said.