The Independent reports that statistics from 30 of England’s police forces show a 89% hike in police reports of hate crime and hate incidents among pupils in the month before EU referendum was held.
The statistics, based on responses from 30 of England’s police forces, also show that in the three months surrounding the 23 June vote — May, June and July last year — reported hate crimes and incidents in schools increased by 54 per cent.
Iman Atta, director of Tell MAMA, said: “These figures seem to corroborate the fact that cases from schools also came into Tell MAMA during the Brexit campaign with students being called names associated with ‘refugees’ and anti-Muslim rhetoric.
“It seems that the toxification of issues around immigration and migrants also affected the minds of some young people in schools and we know that if people are influenced early in life, those views take a lot of time and investment to challenge.”
The alarming figures come after a recent poll by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) found that more than a fifth of teachers (22 per cent) were aware of incidents of hate crime or speech happening in their schools during the current academic year, while 17 per cent were aware of such incidents outside of school.
Rosanna Rackley, a supply teacher who works in Birmingham, said she had witnessed a rise in the number of racist remarks students are making to their peers and teachers over the past year.
“People have been given permission to be racist or homophobic because world leaders are doing it.”
Zak Cochrane, spokesperson for Stand Up to Racism, said: “Schools are a microcosm of what is happening in wider society and there is a very real danger that racist or intolerant views can become normalised among students. Its crucial that schools, teaching unions and antiracist organisations work together to develop a robust strategy to oppose racism and defend multicultural education.”
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton, the NPCC’s lead for hate crime, said: “We know that national and global events have the potential to trigger short-terms rises in hate crime and we saw this following the EU Referendum last year.
“Particularly among young people, this kind of abuse undermines the diversity and tolerance that we should be celebrating.”
Did your school experience a rise in hate related incidences during the Brexit campaign? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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