Bullying and Racism in a Childcare Setting
Bullying and racism are deeply ingrained in many human societies. Where they once might have been tolerated, even encouraged, these values no longer mesh with the multi-cultural, multi-ethnic society Australia enjoys today.
Unfortunately, bullying and racism prevails in many parts of Australia today. Often it is very subtle and insidious. It should not be tolerated; racist or bullying behaviours should be recognised and dealt with in an appropriate and timely manner. It is possible for staff working in a childcare centre, or the children they are caring for, to bully or discriminate based on race.
Possible Indications of racism or bullying
- Discriminatory policies and procedures
- Racist comments, ridicule or abuse (verbal or written)
- Racist propaganda
- Refusal to co-operate with people from different groups
- Judgements based on stereotypes
- Non-inclusive curriculum or teaching practices
- Physical assault and harassment
Short terms effects of bullying and racism on children
- Feeling anxious and depressed
- Withdrawing from others, fear of school / childcare
- Tension in learning and playing environments
- Silent, withdrawn, not engaging in learning / playing activities
- Unable to concentrate
- Unable to take risks with learning / playing activities
- Poor school / centre attendance
- Aggressive or violent reactions
- Disruptive behavior
- Have trouble making friends
- Not speak their first language for fear of being picked on.
- Get lower school results
- Reject their own culture and parental values
- Be confused about their own identity
Long term effects of bullying and racism have on children
- Lower school participation rates for students from some cultural and linguistic groups
- Lower literacy and numeracy outcomes for students from some cultural and linguistic groups
- Lower rates of attendance, participation and retention in education for students from some cultural and linguistic groups
- Barriers to employment and further education pathways
- Gifts and talents of students from some cultural and linguistic groups are not recognized and or developed.
Tips for dealing with bullies
- Talk about it – Talking about it can be a good way of letting out your frustrations that can be built up when being bullied
- Don’t get physical – Not only will you be showing the bully your anger, but you do not know what the bully will do in return.
- Hold the anger – the bully will want to see your anger or hurt – don’t give them the satisfaction! Think of ways you can use your anger differently – such as: writing about it; drawing or talking to someone.
- Practice Confidence – practice feeling good about yourself, and what your reaction to the bully will be. You could possibly even make a joke of what the bully is saying about you – that will catch them off guard.
- Take charge of your life – you cannot control other’s actions, but you can control yours. Think about ways to feel your best.
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