Anti Racism Training took place at Oaktree Academy this week
Over 2000 school pupils from across Cleveland will benefit from a series of ant racism workshops which have been funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner, Barry Coppinger.
The workshops are being delivered by the charity, Show Racism the Red Card (SRTRC), who use the experiences of current and ex professional footballers to convey anti racism messages to both primary and secondary age children.
Workshops have been offered to all schools across Cleveland, with almost 30 schools signing up to take part so far.
The workshops are interactive, safe and non-judgemental, with participants being encouraged to reflect on their own internal prejudices in an attempt to reflect on them and in turn to consider an alternative view.
The ultimate aims are to reduce the incidents of racism in communities, increase the reporting of racist incidents, reduce any anger and prejudice aimed at minority communities and encourage the rejection of racist attitudes.
A Police Community Support Officer from the local Integrated Neighbourhood Team took part in the sessions at Oak Tree Academy this week, giving the pupils the opportunity to follow up on the lessons they had learned through the day by asking questions on how hate crime and hate incidents are dealt with when they are reported to the Police.
Mr Coppinger said: “Tackling racist attitudes from a young age and encouraging our younger generation to be accepting of all diversity is key to delivering strong, cohesive communities.
“One of my priorities on which I was elected is to work for better community relations, and initiatives like this are key to achieving this aim.
“Show Racism the Red Card is an excellent charity who do valuable work across the region, and I am delighted that this project has received so much support from local schools.
“We will be following up the pupil workshops with a series of three teacher training events to ensure that teachers are fully equipped with the knowledge and skills to challenge racist attitudes in the classroom.”
Laura Pidcock, North East Education Team Manager for Show Racism the Red Card, added: "Show Racism the Red Card is really pleased to be working in Cleveland again thanks to the funding that has been awarded by the Police and Crime Commissioner.
"Unfortunately racism is still a problem in our communities, with many young people believing the myths and rumours perpetuated in the mainstream media. We know there is anger and resentment aimed at minority communities and those who are, or who are perceived to be immigrants.
"Our workshops look to dispel these populist myths, provide young people with an alternative view and ask them to think critically about the world around them. Young people will also take part in a football fitness session with an ex-professional footballer and hear a personal testimony of their experiences of racism.
"Crucially, this funding allows us to work with teachers, through three teacher training summits which will take place in November. Having teachers who feel confident to talk about sensitive issues and who also feel able to deal with racism, should it occur, is the key to the sustainability of anti-racism education."
For more information on the teacher training workshops, click here
Posted on Thursday 15th October 2015