NASUWT calls for education ministers to extend Coronavirus guidance to include racist incidents
The NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union has written to the education ministers of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, calling on them to extend the Coronavirus guidance that has already been issued to schools to address racist incidents related to coronavirus.
This follows an increase in the number of incidents reported to the NASUWT in recent weeks of members from black and minority ethnic backgrounds being subjected to “jokes” banter, racist name-calling and intimidation.
In one instance groups of pupils were engaged in game-playing including an unsavoury game of tag named after the Coronavirus.
Chris Keates, Acting General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:
“The NASUWT is extremely concerned at the extent of increased incidences of abuse, prejudice, xenophobia and racism as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
“Misinformation and false reporting about the coronavirus, its causes and how it is spread have fuelled fear and panic and in some cases led to the ostracising of people of East Asian heritage and others perceived to be ‘foreign’ or an ‘immigrant’ within the UK.
“Unfortunately, schools and colleges are not exempt from the associated xenophobic and racialised stereotyping of Chinese and other East Asian people. The NASUWT has received reports of increased covert and overt racial attacks perpetrated against some minority ethnic pupils and NASUWT members linked to coronavirus concerns.
“The NASUWT is urging the Department for Education to communicate with schools and provide guidance and support for school leaders.”
The full letters can be viewed on the NASUWT website.