Racial Harassment

What do we mean by racial harassment?

The CRE defines racial harassment as verbal or physical violence suffered by individuals or groups because of their colour, race, nationality or ethnic origins, and where the victim believes that the perpetrator was acting on racial grounds and/or there is evidence of racism.

A racist incident is any incident which is believed to be racist by the victim or any other person. For instance:
it can be a physical attack, pushing, shoving, tripping up
it can be verbal comments, threats, taunts, insulting name calling, jokes about religion, culture or race
it can be indirect and may not have a specific victim, e.g. racist graffiti written on walls, the wearing of racist badges, racist literature
it can be subtle as in ostracising, refusing to share, telling tales

These are a few examples; there are many other ways in which racial harassment can occur.

It is important to note that Black, White and Asian people may be victims of racism. However, it is more likely to happen to minority ethnic groups and individuals.

What can we do about it?

Always report an incident even if you feel it is not very important. If you do not want any action to be taken, other forms of support can be provided. All schools, education centres and Education, Libraries and Heritage services have supplies of a form called ‘Racist Incident Report Form’. Just ask for a copy and fill it in as soon as possible after the racist incident has occurred. If necessary, you can contact a Cambridgeshire Race Equality and Diversity Service Home School Liaison Officer or a member of staff from any of the organisations listed on the back of this leaflet to help you complete the form.

What will happen next?

The Head teacher, Principal, Governing Body or Centre Manager will investigate the incident thoroughly.
Heads or Managers of all educational establishments and services have been given guidelines to help them deal with issues of racial harassment.

You will be kept informed at all times of what is happening. If you feel that the school, education centre or service is not dealing with the problem properly then you may:

  • ask for a copy of the school, centre or service harassment policy to check it is being followed
  • contact an independent agency such as Cambridge Racial Incidents Support Project or Cambridge Ethnic CommunityForum or School Management and Governance Service – contact information is on the back of this leaflet.

Why is it important to ask for help?

  • it is necessary to know where incidents have taken place, and what happened, so similar incidents can be prevented in future
  • if incidents are not reported, nothing can be done to prevent the same thing happening again to you and your children or other young people
  • even if you think you and your children can cope, the victim of a repeat incident may not be able to cope
  • to stop racial harassment happening – it is against the law

Legal Responsibilities

Cambridgeshire Local Education Authority has legal responsibilities to young people. Parents and members of the community.

It is against the law for the LEA or any governing body to discriminate on racial grounds.

Schools and education centres have a duty to promote equality.

All pupils have a right to full access to all aspects of the National Curriculum.

The rights of children and young people which are set out in the Children’s Act are recognised and supported.
If you would like the information in this leaflet to be translated please contact Cambridgeshire Race Equality & Diversity Service by telephoning 01480 375584 or 01223 568841

Who to Contact

The Head teacher or Principal of the school or college, or Manager of the education centre or service

School of Management and Governance Service
Castle Court, Castle Hill, Cambridge CB3 0AP
Tel: 01223 717398

Cambridgeshire Race Equality and Diversity Service (CREDS)
Gazeley House, Princes Street, Huntingdon, Cambs PE29 3NS Tel: 01480 375584

Cambridgeshire Professional Development Centre,
Foster Road, Trumpington, Cambridge CB2 2NL
Tel: 01223 568841 for Black and Bilingual team or Tel: 01223 508700 for Traveller team.

Racial Harassment Service
Hobson House, 44 St Andrew’s Street, Cambridge CB2 3AS Tel: 01223 457967 or 0973 883 261

Cambridgeshire Adult and Community Learning or Cambridgeshire Youth Service
Castle Court, Castle Hill, Cambridge CB3 0AP
Tel: 01223 717952

Cambridge Racist Incidents Support Project (CRISP)
99 Victoria Road, Cambridge CB4 3BS
Tel: 01223 462615

Peterborough Race Equality Council
32 Russell Street, Peterborough
Tel: 01733 554630

Parkside Police Station, Cambridge CB1 1JG
Tel: 01223 358966 – or your local Police Station

Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum (CECF)
99 Victoria Road, Cambridge CB4 3BS
Tel: 01223 315877

Reporting Racial Harassment

This leaflet provides information on what to do if you believe that you or your child have been the victim of a racist incident.

Racial harassment can cause great distress and can adversely affect children’s education.

Cambridgeshire County Council is committed to ensuring that racial harassment does not happen in schools and education centres.

Racial harassment is illegal and the County Council is required by law to ensure there are effective procedures in place to monitor racist incidents.

It is vital that all racist incidents are reported so they can be investigated.

It does not matter who reports the incident. It could be you, a member of your local community group, or a member of staff of a school or education centre.

This leaflet has been amended by St Ives ACL pending a new leaflet being produced by Cambridgeshire County Council