Parents

school staff told black girl her skin was like disgusting burnt toast’

My heart aches to know racial prejudice Still lives on in the 21st century.

If am honest this isn’t very surprising, racism in the UK is very much alive and it ain’t going anywhere. We keep hearing about stories like this all the time and to think our young black girls have to go through the same thing we did… Only aches my heart.

A member of staff at a South Gloucestershire school had allegedly made a racist comment about a black student in front of a class of children. Talking about burnt toast in a lesson, describing it as ‘disgusting’ and then compared it to the colour of a pupil’s skin.

“They were in a group and this person started telling them about a friend they used to live with who would burn the toast and set off the smoke alarm. They said ‘the toast was black, burnt, looked disgusting, just like the colour of your skin, [and said her daughter’s name]’.

Mum Melissa Curtis said her 15-year-old daughter had been left upset and angry by the comment.

To all the Black girls reading this you are magic, You are so smart and beautiful. Hold your head high so your crown won’t fall and remember that your beautiful melanin skin shines under the sun.

Mother’s love your daughters, the world may not see our value And they won’t until you do. ✊🏿✊🏾✊🏽 #blackgirlmagic

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Ms Curtis said the headteacher, David Howe, contacted her early the following week, confirmed that an investigation was underway and disciplinary proceedings had begun against the member of staff.

“He told me they had interviewed [my daughter], the member of staff and the other pupils there, and had established that’s exactly what they said, and that there was no dispute about what they said,” said Ms Curtis.

“He told me the member of staff fully admitted it, and he described it as a ‘dreadful, unfortunate, awful statement’.

“He told me the school’s view was that this was ‘unbelievable, unforgivable and dreadfully inappropriate’, and that the member of staff said there was no racist intent behind it,” she added.

“He kept saying no offence was intended, but saying something like this is just clearly racist. I was in disbelief.

“When [my daughter] told me what they’d said to her, I thought she was joking, I had to ask her to say it again, and a third time. I couldn’t believe it. How can you make negative comments about the colour of someone’s and then say ‘sorry, it’s not racist’?”

“At Abbeywood Community School we take any allegations of racism or any other unacceptable behaviour very seriously and have robust policies and procedures in place for dealing with such matters when they are reported to us,” Mr Howe.

school staff told black girl her skin was like disgusting burnt toast’
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