Anti-racism education

The Department of Education is committed to eliminating racism through educating students, teachers, parents and involving the whole school community.

Stay safe online during the COVID-19 pandemic

In the context of COVID-19, we are aware that there have been reports of racist abuse and discrimination directed at some members of our community, in particular people from Chinese and other Asian backgrounds.

Racism and racist behaviour are not tolerated in NSW public schools. Our Anti-Racism Policy promotes equity and inclusion and aims to ensure that no student, staff member or member of the school community should experience racism at school. All schools are required to have a trained Anti-Racism Contact Officer. This officer assists the principal to lead anti-racism education and can provide advice on how to make a complaint about racism.

Cyber racism is a form of racism. Online activities or published material that result in offensive comments in relation to a person’s race, colour or national or ethnic origin have the same effect as similar offline activities. Cyber racism may present as racial hatred or cyber bullying.

What should I do if my child is experiencing racism at school?

Students who are experiencing racial discrimination at school should report it to a teacher or the school’s Anti-Racism Contact Officer.

What about racism online?

School-related racism that occurs online, such as students directing racism towards individual students or cultural groups, should be reported to the school.

How do I make a complaint about racism at school?

Any member of the school community, including parents, staff and students, can make a complaint about racism. Complaints of racism can be reported to principals, Anti-Racism Contact Officers or any member of staff. Anti-Racism Contact Officers are trained to provide support for anyone experiencing racism.

Translated information about racial discrimination in the context of COVID-19 for parents and carers is available in 35 languages.

Schools requiring support in managing complaints of cyber racism, should phone 7814 2607.

How do I make a complaint about racism in the community?

The Australian Government does not accept racism. Information on reporting racial discrimination, harassment or hatred in the community is available in other languages.

Understanding racism

To enable students and staff from all cultural backgrounds to connect and succeed in the learning and working environment, the department is committed to building inclusive and racism-free school communities. An understanding of the nature of racism, its manifestations and effects is required to effectively counter it in schools.

The Anti-racism Policy applies to all department employees and students. Anti-racism education – advice for schools provides guidelines for the implementation of the policy – indicators of racism in schools, its effects and strategies for countering racism.

Racism can take many forms, such as jokes or comments that cause offence or hurt, sometimes unintentionally; name-calling or verbal abuse; harassment or intimidation, or commentary in the media or online that inflames hostility towards certain groups.

At its most serious, racism can result in acts of physical abuse and violence.

Racism can directly or indirectly exclude people from accessing services or participating in employment, education, sport and social activities.

It can also occur at a systemic or institutional level through policies, conditions or practices that disadvantage certain groups.

It often manifests through unconscious bias or prejudice.

On a structural level, racism serves to perpetuate inequalities in access to power, resources and opportunities across racial and ethnic groups.

The belief that a particular race or ethnicity is inferior or superior to others is sometimes used to justify such inequalities.

— Australian Human Rights Commission, National Anti-Racism Strategy, July 2012, page 4

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