It’s every parent’s worst nightmare for your child to face tough times at school. In this article, we’re going to discuss the five warning signs your child is being discriminated against at school.
Many people are unaware of exactly what discrimination is and when it can happen. Discrimination occurs when an individual is treated unfairly because of who they are or certain characteristics they possess.
Discrimination in schools shouldn’t happen, but unfortunately, it sometimes does. There are often discrete signs that it is happening to look out for. Making sure you talk to your children about their general school life and any problems they might be facing is incredibly important and can help to determine whether they are facing discrimination.
To find out more about how you can spot the warning signs that your child is being discriminated against at school, keep reading.
What Types of Discrimination in Schools Are There?
There are many types of discrimination, but there are only nine areas that the law protects against. These nine types include:
- Sexual orientation
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
The Citizens Advice website can provide more details on what discrimination is and the types, including direct and indirect discrimination.
What Are the Warning Signs That Your Child is Being Discriminated Against at School?
It might not be easy for you as the parent to spot the discrimination going on, as it’s likely during school time when you’re not present. Making sure you’re aware of your child’s school experience is crucial, whether you hear that from themselves, teachers or both.
Here are some of the ways discrimination occurs and signs to look out for:
1. Name Calling
Name-calling is a clear example of discrimination against a child and often occurs more often than any other way of discrimination we’re going to discuss in this article.
In general, name-calling can happen on a regular basis in a school setting, even where discrimination is not involved. Children and school staff frequently dismiss this name calling as ‘banter’, but it is a clear sign of bullying and discrimination. This is especially true when these words or phrases are related to a person’s appearance or characteristics, such as race, sexual orientation, and more.
If your child is being picked on by other students or teachers through name-calling, this can be a clear example that they are suffering from discrimination.
2. Exclusion From Activities
Children being excluded from activities at school often occurs due to their disability. But, under the Equality Act 2010, schools should make provisions so that all children who are disabled have equal opportunity to join in on activities.
If the school is dismissing your child from being able to participate in an activity, such as being able to go on school trips, join in on certain lessons, and more due, to their disability, this is discrimination against your child and is against the law.
3. Physical Assault
Physical assault is often the serious end of the spectrum when it comes to discrimination, but it can be a clear sign that your child might be being discriminated against at school.
If your child is coming home with bruises, scratches, cuts, and other injuries, there could be the possibility that your child is being physically assaulted. Children sometimes don’t want their parents to know that they’ve been injured by another person, so they may attempt to explain it happened by accident, such as they fell over.
4. Their Needs Are Ignored
Schools have a duty of care to meet your child’s special educational needs. If your child is not able to participate to their full extent or progress with their education, this can be considered discrimination against them.
5. Other Signs of Discrimination
There are so many ways to spot if your child is suffering from discrimination at school. Other examples of the signs include:
- Wanting to avoid going to school
- Fear of walking to and from school alone
- Personal possessions being ‘lost’ or damaged
- Stomach aches – often caused by anxiety
- Anger issues
How Can Discrimination Be Prevented?
Your child should be discriminated against. Unfortunately, it can happen and can have lasting effects on a young person. If your child is being discriminated against because of who they are or the characteristics they possess, there are certain things that can be done to prevent and tackle discrimination.
Talk to Your Child About Discrimination
As a parent, it’s crucial that you make your child aware of what discrimination is, so they can raise with you and/or the school if they believe they are facing discrimination.
Regularly Check in With Your Child
As a parent, checking in with your child and making sure that everything in their life is okay should be a standard procedure. But if you have a child that could face discrimination at school, it’s important that you are aware of their school life, if they are happy, if they are facing any problems, etc.
Creating an environment where they can be open to you, can help to prevent problems from escalating further.
School Should Be a Safe Space for Children
No child should have to face discrimination wherever they are and especially not in their school.
What we can conclude from this article is that there are many signs which can be spotted as discrimination. For a parent, it’s your worst nightmare when your children are being targeted and bullied for something entirely out of their control. That’s why it’s important to make yourself aware of the signs, so you can step in asap to prevent it.
Has your child been discriminated against at school? What were your warning signs?