A SICKENING catalogue of racist abuse in Scottish primary schools has been unveiled by education chiefs.
Nine of Scotland’s biggest councils confirmed there had been almost 1,000 racist incidents serious enough to be recorded in primary schools in the past three years.
The worst last year was Edinburgh – with almost three incidents reported on average every week.
Fife Council was the only council to give specific information about the 94 incidents recorded in the area’s schools since 2011.
In one case, a pupil talked about putting another “in the washing machine to turn him white”.
And a child from an ethnic minority was taunted that “he looked like he had chocolate on his face”.
Ten of Scotland’s biggest councils were asked to provide details under the Freedom of Information Act.
Nine councils revealed a total of 971 cases since 2011 but the figure is likely to be much higher because the country’s biggest council, Glasgow, did not provide figures.
Since 2011, Edinburgh has seen 428 racist incidents, ranging from verbal to physical assaults.
Scottish Conservative chief whip John Lamont said: “The children involved in these incidents are extremely young, and will be saying these things without knowing their potential consequences.
“As a result, it’s important the solution is education rather than simple punishment.
“If we can make children realise at a young age that such remarks are unacceptable, this will reduce the chances of them being repeated in later life.”
A spokesman for BEMIS (corr), a charity which empowers Scotland’s ethnic and cultural minority community, believes more needs to be done to tackle racism in schools.
He said: “Our Schools do not exist in a social vacuum and while it is naturally a concern that these attitudes have been reflected across 32 local authorities it does not wholly surprise me.
“As communities and citizens we must empower people to utilise the legislation at their disposal in fighting racism.
“Schools should be accountable to their duties but equally to be supported by us all in advancing their effort in addressing such serious issues.”
Craig Munro, Executive Director of Education and Children’s Services for Fife Council said: “The welfare and well-being of all our pupils is our number one priority.
“We take a proactive approach to multi-cultural education and to valuing all diversity.
Racism is an issue we take very seriously within our very well developed and robust approach to equalities and inclusion.
“This means that all incidents are reported and meticulously recorded.”
“In Fife we have implemented a range of approaches to ensure children and young people develop positive attitudes to support an inclusive society.”