Schoolchildren take starring role to stamp out hate crime
Published by James Allan for Salix Homes in Housing and also in Communities, Education
The children performed a play about Hate Crime
Schoolchildren have taken to the stage and screen in a bid to stamp out hate crime.
Pupils at Larkhill Primary School in Pendleton, Salford, have been working alongside social housing provider Salix Homes and drama company Altru to raise awareness about hate crime and bullying.
The Altru drama company worked with Year Five pupils to stage a play for their peers and parents exploring the discrimination experienced by people from minority groups.
The pupils also interviewed members of the Salix Homes Disability Focus Group and the Refugee and Asylum Seekers Forum to find out their personal experiences of hate crime.
The entire project was filmed for a DVD for children to take home and it is also available on You Tube.
The Hate Crime project, now in its second year, is organised by Salford-based Salix Homes and aims to teach children to respect others regardless of their age, disability or colour of their skin.
Sue Sutton, director of customer and neighbourhood services at Salix Homes, said: “We were thrilled to work alongside the Altru drama company to deliver this important message to school children.
“Hate crime can have a significant impact on the victims, their families, friends and the wider community. Salford is home to such a diverse community which is why we feel it is so important to raise awareness from a young age about the impact of hate crime and bullying.
“The children put their heart and soul into the project and really took on board the message that it’s okay to be different from your friends. The play was brilliant and it was wonderful to see every child stand up at the end and explain why they were different. They should all be very proud of themselves."
As part of the interview project, pupils met with athlete Ali Yasir Rai, the former fastest man in Pakistan, who moved to Salford from India 18 months ago. They also interviewed Irfan Syed, from India, who has lived in the city for the past five years.
The children quizzed them about whether that had ever experienced hate crime and what they liked about living in Salford.
Poppy Swindells, aged 10, said: “We have learnt that it’s not a big deal if people are different, we can still all be friends. It would be boring if everyone was the same and it’s good to know different types of people.”
The play, which was learnt and performed in just one day, was specially created by the Altru drama company and encouraged the children to explore their own differences and examine stereotypes and prejudice.
Hannah Stanton, Year Five teacher at Larkhill Primary School, added: “It’s been amazing seeing the children grow in confidence as the day has progressed.
“They’ve had some great discussions about serious issues that affect our community and all had a brilliant time. I felt really proud watching their fantastic end performance.”
You can view the film at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHVcUwUqyso