A mum has slammed a school after pupils were asked to ‘rate’ neighbours they wouldn’t like to live next to – including ‘a black person’.
Naomi Davis was stunned when her eleven-year-old daughter showed her the worksheet that her class had been given which listed various types of people.
The task asked children to rate people in terms of how much they would or would not like to live next door to them – with one being the best and 14 being the worst.
The list included a teenage parent, a person with a learning difficulty, a hoodie wearer – and a black person.
Naomi and her daughter, who are both black, says her girl was left feeling ‘singled out and isolated’.
Mother-of-one Naomi, 42, immediately contacted Bristol Free School to set up a meeting to discuss the “completely unacceptable racial profiling” on the worksheet.
Naomi, from Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, said: “The school have reacted very positively and have apologised to me and my daughter.
“They acknowledged that it was completely unacceptable racial profiling and the wording needs to be changed immediately.
“It was disappointing that the school seemed to be minimising the different levels of discrimination – it doesn’t make sense that a vegetarian and a black person are on the same list.
“It shouldn’t have taken a child feeling isolated or singled out in order for the school to do something about this.”
BBC Radio presenter Naomi said that the worksheet, which was intended to be carried out as a group discussion exercise, was not completed as such.
And she said that the lack of discussion afterwards left her daughter, Chayse Cole, feeling confused.
“There was no discussion afterwards as to why those groups of people had been chosen for the list, and it didn’t make any sense to my daughter,” said Naomi.
“They were given the worksheet to complete and then afterwards the teacher gave this big Martin Luther King type speech about how everyone was equal, and that was that.
“Chayse was the only one in the class who put her hand up afterwards and tried to say, ‘But that doesn’t make any sense’.
“The school shouldn’t have a situation where children feel like they can’t talk to teachers about these things.”
She added that she is quite open with Chayse about the discrimination she might face going through life – and that she felt the worksheet played this down.
“I don’t want to feel like the school is not preparing her and the other children for the reality of that,” said Naomi.
Naomi said she was reassured by the fact that the worksheet is not part of the national curriculum – but was disappointed that the school hadn’t changed it sooner.
“The head of department who I spoke to said the school had been wanting to change the wording for quite some time,” she said.
“And I just said, ‘Well why haven’t you? What are you waiting for?'”
However, she has commended the school for their positive and productive response to her feedback.
Naomi says the school have now agreed to change the wording on the worksheet, as well as setting up diversity groups for both BAME children and their parents to raise concerns in confidence.
She said: “This is a perfect example of ‘Be the change you want to see’. Never sit back and be the quiet one and just let these things pass.”