Education (Anti-racism)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 6th October 2022.

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Photo of Kaukab Stewart Kaukab Stewart Scottish National Party

What is the Scottish Government’s response to reports that some ethnic minority teaching professionals have experienced racist online abuse after sharing their plans for more diversity in Scottish education at the Scottish learning festival? Will the First Minister join me in condemning the racist abuse faced by St Albert’s primary school in her constituency and the racist graffiti that has been found on the campus of the University of Glasgow in my constituency? Will she further agree with me that anti-racist education is important in ensuring a more diverse and inclusive Scotland?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

I whole-heartedly agree with that and I am sure that the whole chamber whole-heartedly agrees with that. No one should ever experience racism and we all have a duty to stand firmly in solidarity with anyone who does and against those who are racist. The vile racist abuse directed at teaching professionals, staff and children on the back of the Scottish learning festival should be condemned and I condemn it.

I make a particular comment, given how close to my heart the experience of pupils at St Albert’s primary in my constituency of Pollokshields is. I know St Albert’s very well. It is a fantastic school with a fantastic headteacher, fantastic teachers and outstanding young people. I was privileged to visit the school on Friday, as I have been many times in the past. Racism sickens me, but there is nothing that turns my stomach more than the idea of adults—whether from Scotland or anywhere else in the world—who can look at a photograph of beautiful, clever children and see only the colour of their skin. It is despicable, it is disgusting, it has no place in Scotland and I hope that all of us will unite in utter condemnation of vile racists everywhere. [