Protecting children from discrimination is very essential, and in order to protect it identifying anti-discrimination practice is very important, if we ignore discrimination it will be considered as excusing or overlooking it. When working with children, we should always keep in mind that we are there to support them and they look upon us when they feel discriminated, they expect us to help them and if we ignore them, they loose faith in us and will never share their problems with us. At times the child may also start believing that they being treated as normal and may consider themselves as inferior to others. They may feel let down that you didn’t support them and failed in protecting their rights.
In order to challenge discrimination you require knowledge of policy, procedure and practice this gives us confidence in knowing good practices and also allows us to deal with incidents more efficiently when they arise. When you are concerned about anti-discriminatory practice, whether by staff or children in the school, you should speak to your manager or supervisor at the school. The code of practice to promote race equality includes the duty of the school to monitor and report to the Local Education Authority (LEA) on all racist incidents.
Discrimination can be intentional, but sometimes it can also be because of ignorance and lack of understanding. It is not easy to change the views of others but one should challenge discriminatory comments and actions. It is also important to be aware of assertiveness strategies that can help in recognising discrimination.
When you recognise discrimination, it is important to be aware of the school’s policy when racism happens and when challenging discrimination to explain what has happened or what has been said that is discriminatory, explain what are the effect of this on the individual, group and others, suggest or model ways to ensure anti-discriminatory practice.