Schools’ Awards Labelled ‘Racist’

Brian Flynn, Sun Online (UK), Dec. 11, 2006

PARENTS blasted a council yesterday for holding an awards ceremony for black kids who pass exams—while successful white classmates are IGNORED.

Nearly 300 Afro-Caribbean children aged from seven to 16 will celebrate with mums, dads, teachers and councillors at London’s Alexandra Palace.

But white classmates who do just as well will have to stay in lessons.

Parents say the ceremony funded by Haringey council and community groups is divisive.

One mum, whose daughter goes to St Gilda’s Primary School in Crouch End, said: “It is driving a huge wedge between black children and the white kids.

“These children are as young as seven. Why are we teaching the black children they are different at such an early age?

“That is not what integration is about.”

Another mum, who asked not to be named, added: “My daughter did very well in her SATS but will receive no recognition. Why are the black children worthy of awards, when the white children are not?

“It seems as if officials are almost trying to cause a racial divide.

“If it happened the other way around it would be unthinkable.”

The awards are for black children who achieved above national expectations in their SATS or GCSEs.

A Haringey Council spokeswoman said: “The African and African Caribbean Academic Excellence awards are a challenge to the notions that black children are underachieving at school.

“The awards are in their tenth year and are a welcome celebration of pupils’ academic success.

“It is one part of our successful drive to raise aspirations and achievement for our students.”

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