What do you do when your daughter first say to you that her six or seven year old classmate made a racist remark to her.

Natasha - posted on 10/02/2011 ( 7 moms have responded )




I asked my 6 year old how was school. She showed me thumbs down, so I asked her why is that so. She told me that two of them were trying to get this girls attention. The child turned to my daughter and said to her that she doesn't like brown people and that she only likes light skin people. She turned her back on my daughter and gave the other child her attention. I calmly told her that I would have to speak with her teacher. She told me that she and her teacher and the child had taken care of it and the child hadn't said that. She's convinced that shed heard the child say that. After the three of them dealt with it she says the child didn't say that. Is there something wrong with this picture?


Jane - posted on 10/02/2011




My daughter never said anything about race until she was in third grade. Then it was another child told her that she wasn't allowed to play with a third child because the third girl was black. In fact, the third girl was mixed race. Her birth father was indeed black and her birth mother and step dad were white. She looked Hispanic to me.

What the second child didn't realize was that my daughter herself is mixed race. She is half white and half black, and has light skin, green eyes and blonde curly hair. Her younger brother is brown-skinned, brown eyed, and has nappy hair.

The teacher (white skinned) said nothing of the sort ever happened, but I know my daughter and I know she told me the truth. So what did we do?

My daughter and I discussed why some people thought they didn't like brown people. What we decided is that sometimes people don't like themselves very much so they convince themselves that someone else is a worse person so they can feel better about themselves. It is easiest to do this with someone you don't know but who looks different.

Sometimes, then, when that person grows up they teach their kids the same thing, that people who look different are inferior. That is where the second girl came up with her belief that the third girl was someone not to play with.

So why did the teacher claim it never happened? Because we aren't supposed to be racist any longer, so if it never happened the teacher wouldn't have to deal with it.

And what was the end result? My daughter and I made cookies and took them to school and shared them with both little girls. Then my daughter attended the brown girl's sleepover birthday party and told everybody how much fun it was, so the next party was well-attended.

Sometimes your child, even at age 6, is telling the whole story, but for various reasons adults try to pretend it never happened. Personally I would suspect that the teacher said to the other child that she couldn't really have said that, so the offending child agreed that she didn't say that. Then the teacher told your child that the child didn't say that and your child, dutifully listening to the teacher, changed her story.

Just make sure your child understands that if someone doesn't like her brown skin that it is their problem, not hers. She is beautiful just the way she is, and most likely smarter than people who find silly reasons not to be friends.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/02/2011




I would still address it with the teacher and get the full story. Kids that age, it really is hard fully understanding what they mean. Often I have to piece my sons (5yrs) stories together to understand. That is a very concerning situation. Talk to her teacher, and continue teaching your daughter tolerance, and love....even for those that are ignorant.


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Jane - posted on 10/03/2011




Natasha - I know precisely how mean kids can be, for a variety of reasons based on personal experience. What I prefer to do with my daughter is to help her understand why people behave badly like that. That way I believe she understands that it isn't that there is something wrong with her, but rather with the people who are being mean. I want both of my children to be proud of who they are and what they can do. I also want them to recognize that other people have reasons that they should be proud of themselves, even though some of them aren't.

I don't think it is a good idea to go after the teacher on something like this. For one thing, you were not there. For another, the teacher may have her own problems with race or self-image, and, if challenged by a parent, can cause a lot of long-lasting problems for your daughter. Instead, I would work hard to help your own child understand that other people have problems that make them behave badly towards her, and it isn't her fault. You might want to teach her how to deal with such situations in the future in a wise and peaceful way.

In other words, follow MLK Jr and Gandhi, and use peaceful ways and understanding to deal with things like this. There is a time and place for revolution, but not here and now when your daughter is little and defenseless. Instead, teach her how to defend herself and take the high road.

Natasha - posted on 10/03/2011




Jane I agree with you especially the second to last paragraph. That is how I feel. My boyfriend who is (twhite) prefers if I just leave it at that. I believe the teacher convinced my daughter that's not what was said. See, prior to my daughter's incident, I boarded the 7:50 bus. I did that 3 days in a row. The bus was fill with white high school kids all except three black kids and myself. This young girl boldly and loudly shared how she felt about blacks, by making rude and unpleasant comments. I did not say anything to my daughter. The reason I am sharing my own experience is, to help you understand how mean kids can be and why I believe the teacher convinced my daughter that the child did not say that.

Jodi - posted on 10/02/2011




I agree with Marina. My daughter is 6, and some of the stories she comes home from school with turn out to be only half the truth when you really start to get to the bottom of it. Sometimes, they tend to interject their own feelings or ideals into stories, and you really do only get a part of it. Sometimes the story I get that happened *today* actually happened last week or last month. She just talks for the sake of talking and finds something to tell me. So definitely have a talk to the teacher and see if you can get the full story before deciding how to react.

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