Students from Africa, India suffer racism in Oz: Study

Students from Africa, India suffer racism in Oz: Study

The study said that racism has encroached Australian schools, with 80 per cent of secondary students from non-Anglo backgrounds and 55 per cent of students from Anglo backgrounds stating they had experienced racial vilification, 'The Age' report said on Thursday.

Interviews conducted with 900 secondary-school students across Australia found Anglo-Australian youths displayed consistent prejudice towards other cultural groups, particularly towards darker-skinned students from places such as Africa and India, the study revealed.

It said that the first-generation migrant girls in years 11 and 12 were most at risk. The report, released yesterday by Foundation for Young Australians, noted racial abuse in the form of verbal insults to cultural stereotyping.

Students who attended a Catholic school were 1.7 times less likely to report experiences of racism than students going to government schools, it said.

It was suggested that racism was making students feel angry and depressed, experience more headaches and muscle tension, and was generating lack of interest to go to school.

Lucas Walsh, head of research at Foundation for Young Australians, said it was worrying that many students who experienced racism did not report it, with about half telling a teacher but only 12 per cent informing the police.

There was an urgent need for teacher training and leadership in schools to encourage better attitudes in the community, he said. "Schools are not just sites of racism but also a positive place to address it," he said.

According to a assistant principal of a local secondary school in Endeavour Hills here Roxy McGuire said school's 330 students came from 31 countries, and included Sudanese and Afghan migrants and refugees.

"The focus is on promoting diversity and inclusion, rather than saying, 'We're going to have an anti-racism day today," McGuire said.

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