The Reality of Racism in Schools

by Melissa93 on October 28, 2014 - 7:20pm

In the news article “Torrence Collier, 11, says he faces racism, extreme bullying in Westport” from the CBC News from June 11, 2014, explains the effects racism in schools can have on children. Torrence Collier, and 11 year old boy has experienced racism and bullying in school by his peers due to him being the only “black child” in the small town of Westport. He endures daily endless slurs, threats, and sometimes physical assaults. Torrence goes to school feeling scared, wondering why everyone hates him, and he feels horrible about himself. He even starts to wonder if his peers are right about the things they say about him. The bullying and racist comments have gotten so bad that his mother, Heather Collier, has found a note written by Torrence stating how he could not take the bullying anymore and wanted to die, and in the end he had to transfer schools.

Just like discussed in the article, there is racism in schools going on today. I think it is disgusting that the bullying of those who are a different race than the majority, have gotten so bad that the children sometimes thinks of taking their own life and having to change schools. Just like the article “Just Kids? Peer Racism in a Predominantly White City” we read and discussed in class, kids usually experience name calling, other kids not wanting to be friends with them, mostly because of the child’s skin color. Just to imagine a kid to go through that every day I find is heart breaking. The question that bothers me the most is, who is most at fault for allowing bullying to happen in schools, the parents or the school faculty? Right away I think it is the parents fault for not teaching their kids racism and not to do it, and not doing anything to prevent it from happening themselves. Just like Torrence’s mother Heather, she was concerned about her son getting bullied because of the colour of his skin yet she it was never mentioned in the article of her actually going to the school about the issue. Or is it the schools by allowing the racist comments and bullying to happen in the first place, and only doing something at the end when it gets really bad to the point that the kid wants to die and has to change schools. I personally think it is both of their faults. The parents should educate their children on racism and bullying, and teach them not to do it, just like the school should as well.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/torrence-collier-11-...

Comments

Your title is what captured my attention because this is a big issue that many people either experience or see someone else being exposed to it. I completely agree with what you said because it is not only the bully's fault, but also his/her parents and the school faculty. First and most importantly, the parents SHOULD teach their kids about racism because even though there is a student whose skin colour is different from someone else's, that does not mean that they should be treated as someone from a lower class. The white people are no better than the black people. Even though there is a difference in the skin colour, everybody should still be treated equally. The article that you mentioned "Just Kids?" says how immigrants and/or black kids feel embarrassed, shy, neglected because they get bullied a lot and after a while start to hate the fact that they are not white. This is what bullying does to those who are black or who come from different countries. As a person who comes from Macedonia, I understood how those immigrants felt because I was also a student who did not speak French or English, who had a different culture, ethnicity... I was the only immigrant at my school. Fortunately, I was never bullied because I was proud with the kind of person that I was, I did not want to change just so that I can fit in, just like how those black kids should not try to "act white" because that is not who they are. They should actually be proud of who they are. As for the school faculty, I cannot say that it is entirely their fault because some students are afraid to tell that they are being bullied, but if the school faculty did know, then yes, something should have been done. The good news about today is that racism has improved, but we have to face the fact that it still exists and it is a very big problem in our society.

Your title really intrigues me and I had to come read you news activist post. I was curious to read about racism in schools. I agree with you that racism is something that should stop and that it is wrong to treat someone differently because of their "race". In the article “Just Kids? Peer Racism in a Predominantly White City” that you mentioned in your post they also talk about the effects racism can have on a kid that is experiencing racism. They say that kids could have trouble trusting others, they could also have trouble forming close relationships with others, and it can also affect their overall academic performance. It is horrible that some people can have such a big influence on others and that people of color have to be victims of that even in schools which are supposed to be safe neutral places. I wonder why we keep treating each other this way and I also wonder why schools don't have a better way of dealing with racism.

I agree with your opinion stated above. What caught my attention was the fact that bullying due to the color of your skin still persists in today’s society. In the class race and racism we watched part of Disney films for children with underlying racial messages following an article about the Disney films Happy Feet, The Road To El Dorado and The Emperor’s New Groove and they all tied in with significant historical facts where Caucasian’s were made to look “superior” or “better” than those of color. In my opinion, when I was child I never picked up on these hidden meanings behind the movies, to me they were just cartoons to entertain. So like all other kids we don’t realize what’s being implied until we’re much older and have more knowledge of the world. Kids will act based on what they’ve seen around them and they don’t know the difference between right and wrong until they are taught. We are in school to learn so I believe that the best way to teach young children about racism and its effects are in schools. If we, as adults who know better, don’t take the first step towards eliminating racism in future generations then who will?

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