Show Racism the Red Card has, for the first time in Scotland, embarked on a programme of anti-sectarianism educational workshops in secondary schools as part of an exciting new partnership with West Lothian Council.
In addition to the educational workshop delivery in schools, the community education team has also been delivering a series of teacher training events for both primary and secondary teaching professionals in tackling racism and promoting race equality.
Dee Kinning, Education Coordinator for Show Racism the Red Card in Scotland said
‘the best thing about this brand new partnership within West Lothian Council is that we are not working in isolation, we have input from other agencies working within West Lothian and are part of a range of activity in the area of equalities that is sure to leave a lasting legacy’.
West Lothian Local Authority is working with a UNICEF partner in order to help all of its schools gain ‘Rights Respecting Schools’ status. The council is helping, together with Show Racism the Red Card, the Police and Community Campus Officers to foster a supportive environment so that all agencies, schools, teaching professionals and young people can share best practice and champion equalities issues.
Delivery got off to a flying start in November and December 2011. Initial feedback from teachers and pupils, as well as local authority representatives from Education and Equalities, has been excellent. A teacher at Whitburn Academy noted:
‘I saw and thoroughly enjoyed the social studies [anti-sectarianism] workshops. I was impressed by the Show Racism the Red Card team and our pupils appeared well engaged throughout’.
This was echoed by teaching staff at Bathgate academy where the Show Racism the Red Card team worked with a year group of secondary 1 pupils:
‘The presentation was very slick; the facilitator was knowledgeable and interacted very well with pupils’.
Addressing the problem of sectarian views and behaviours in Scotland is an important part of the programme of the current Scottish government. Show Racism the Red Card has developed educational workshops to highlight the dangerous effects that negative behaviour associated with this type of intolerance has on individuals and communities. We are looking forward to continuing the Show Racism the Red Card activity in West Lothian in 2012 and beyond. The campaign hopes that its work in schools will help to promote a more positive future for Scotland, a future of equality and respect where all are valued.