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Elmhurst School

An Academy of the Great Learners Trust

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Black Lives Matter

The unlawful killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota on the 25th of May 2020 has saddened us deeply.  We fully condemn all mistreatment of black lives, hate crime and all acts of racism in our society, our community and our world. 

We want to educate our children about equality and inequality.  To end racism we must join together in solidarity and as a whole community.  We need to talk to our children and educate them to raise Right's Respecting citizens for the world.  We hope that you would join and support us with this. 

We have made four pledges:
  • To ensure that our school curriculum is representative of the pupils within our school community and covers current issues related to BLM in an age appropriate manner surrounding race, white privilege, colonialism.  
  • ‚ÄčTo increase the number of books in the school library written by BAME authors/representative of our school community so that 50% of our library is diverse by 2023.
  • ‚ÄčTo develop the exposure of pupils to celebrations that take place across the world.
  • To review our equality objectives.

Useful Guide for Parents

Tips for discussing the news with your children:

Advice taken from The Week Junior
Further advice for children can be found at: https://theweekjunior.co.uk/TWJ-Protests 

Acknowledge how they are feeling.
It is important to acknowledge your child's feelings and give them the time and space to express them.  Feeling angry, sad, and worried is normal, and letting children talk about their response to these events will help them to process their emotions.  You can tell them you feel upset too and so do a lot of other people.  If a child finds it difficult to explain how they're feeling then you could suggest writing or drawing instead.  If they feel angry, taking some exercise can help.

Don't avoid difficult questions.
Children need to know that they are taken seriously so it's important to address their questions honestly and sensitively.  You can say that although it is sometimes difficult to talk about events like this, it is vital that people do and that you will do your best to tell them what they need to know.  If there is a question that you do not know the answer to, explain that it is a complex situation and that there aren't always easy answers or simple solutions, but that there are a lot of people who are working to stop the same thing happening again.  

Provide some context.
Help them to understand why people are so angry by talking about race and racism.  Explain that racism is treating a person badly or unfairly because of the colour of their skin, culture or country of birth.  There are lots of good books for children about race and racism including What is race? Who are racists? Why does skin colour matter? and other big questions by Claire Heuchan and Nikesh Shukla.  The charity Childline has information for children about racism and racial bullying on their website, as well as advice for anyone who has been treated badly because of their race.

Remind them that most police officers do not do bad things.
Make sure that they know that the police officer in this case has been sacked, arrested and faces punishment.  They should be reassured that the majority of police officers take their duty to protect the public very seriously and are committed to stamping out racism.  Here in the UK, the National Police Chief's Council made a statement saying 'We will tackle bias, racism or discrimination where we find it'.

Explain that protests can lead to positive change and that, despite what they may have seen on the news, most protests are peaceful.   
Protests are an important way for people to make their voices heard and to draw attention to wrongdoing and injustice.  Thee are plenty of examples of protests - including the Civil Rights Movement in the US during the 1950s and 1960s - that have led to positive change.  Today, there are many people in the US and around the world who are working to bring an end to racism and inequality and these protests will help that to happen.  

Tell them they can play a part.
In situations like this, it is easy for a child to feel powerless so make sure they know that their voice matters too.  Encourage children to stand up for anyone who they think has been treated badly because of their race and tell them to speak up if they experience of witness injustice. 

Books we recommend to support you with discussions about Race and Equality:

The Proudest Blue

The Smeds and the Smoos

Mixed A Colorful Story

Mrs. Arozena Reads Lovely

Storytime Prize: My Hair with Hannah Lee

Only One You by Linda Kranz (Read-Aloud)

Lovely : Learn English (US) - Stories for Children & Adults "BookBox.com"

Malcolm Little The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X

Books featuring Children of Different Races and Ethnicities

Aged 3 - 8
  • Shine by Sarah Asuquo
  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
  • A Poem for Peter by Andrea Davis
  • Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena
  • This Is the Rope by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Freedom Over Me by Ashley Bryan
  • Thunder Boy Jr by Sherman Alexie
  • Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote by Duncan Tonatiuh
  • A Piece of Home by Jeri Watts

  •  
Ages 8 - 12
  • The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
  • The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
  • American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
  • One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
  • The Year of the Dog by Grace Lin
  • The Year of the Rat by Grace Lin
  • Ghost by Jason Reynolds
  • The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata
  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Ambassador by William Alexander
  • I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

 

Non-Fiction Books

In our school library we have a number of non-fiction books about Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks and other famous people.  Check back here soon to see a photo of what we already have available for our pupils to read.  We will also be adding to library with some new titles soon.  

Books we recommend to support you with discussions about diversity:

Storytime for kids Odd Dog Out by Rob Biddulph

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

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