How to challenge discrimination in schools?
Educating adults (teachers) and children in the spirit of tolerance and non-discrimination is a priority if we want a change of mentality. Discrimination also has social consequences with a negative effect on the development of society in general.
Any person may face, during their lifetime, situations of discrimination. Discrimination can occur in different environments and contexts: at work, at school, at the hospital, at the restaurant, and more. It is important to know this phenomenon because any of us can be put in a situation of being discriminated or in the situation of being a witness to a situation of discrimination. In either of these two variants, we must first acknowledge the act of discrimination, and then know what steps we can take to address the issue. Not discriminating is not just a common sense, clearly damaging to a democratic society, but it is also prohibited by law in all European countries.
How do you recognize if a situation can be considered “discrimination” and not something (for example, an injustice)? When a person claims to have been discriminated against, he has to show that there has been a difference between similar situations that can be compared.
It is very important, when we talk about discrimination, to identify the criterion that discriminates. If a student thinks he was wronged by a teacher because he was given more holiday themes than other colleagues, the student must specify on what criteria he/she believes he/she was “discriminated against”. If there is no such criterion, the situation is not discrimination, it is an injustice.
Discrimination is nothing but a violation of the right to equality, and this right is often violated in schools.
Discrimination is based on a bias, which is nothing but a misconception, mistaken idea that a man has made of someone else. What are these prejudices based on? It is very simple: rumors. They are launched by certain students.
There are several ideas that can lead to discrimination, but the most common is the idea of the differences between blacks and whites, also called racism. Racism can lead to racial segregation, more specifically the separation and isolation of some people from others.
A child at school may be excluded from certain activities because she is of another religion, color or other ethnicity. The main reasons why there has been increasing discrimination among pupils today is more, but the most common situation is when someone with disabilities is excluded from certain activities, cannot express their opinions freely or is excluded from certain circles of friends.
In the case of prejudices formed by certain students, the best solution is COMMUNICATION.
Through communication, it can be determined whether the statements made about that person are true or merely prejudice. If those people are of another religion, ethnicity, and nationality or have a disability, they should be given the chance to integrate into the community.
Permanent discrimination practices will force the child to look for alternative methods of emotional expression: from refuge to fantasy, to antisocial behavior, aggressiveness towards the self or other people.
Discrimination in the education system does not take place in exceptional situations but is a systemic phenomenon rooted in the way the system operates and cultural values and norms.
Discrimination often causes a chain reaction of disadvantages for the child, school, and society in general, resulting in dysfunctions in the education system, undermining social cohesion.
On the long run for the community, discrimination has as severe consequences:
- Increased fluctuation and increased costs of student integration;
- Loss of talent;
- A negative image of the school;
- Difficult access to quality resources;
- High costs to cover non-integrated social support services;
- High costs for coverage of health services; high costs of projects that promote diversity;
- Maintaining discriminatory attitudes and stigmatization.
Mutual understanding will reduce the risk of discrimination in schools today and will contribute to creating better learning conditions. Unfortunately, many students today cannot accept different pupils. Just because we are not united, this schools collapses and violence occurs, be it verbal or physical.