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Great British School Swap Exposes Racist Tensions Between Kids

Great British School Swap Exposes Racist Tensions Between Kids

Channel 4's The Great British School Swap has left viewers with a bleak outlook on racial tensions between children in UK schools.

The social experiment show sees 12 Year Eight and Year Nine pupils from Saltley Academy in Birmingham, where less than one per cent of students are white British, swap school with 12 pupils of the same age from Tamworth Enterprise College where over 95 percent are white British.

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In one segment of the show, pupils were asked to complete a questionnaire, outlining the traits they associated with the respective race.

Credit: Channel 4/ Great British School Swap
Credit: Channel 4/ Great British School Swap

'Eating bacon', 'lazy' and 'always drunk' were just some of the stereotypes associated with white British people, while words like 'burkas', 'Primark' and 'horrible and nasty' were linked to South-Asian people.

Later in the show, the two sets of pupils were made to walk into the opposing school's hall for the first time, highlighting them as the minority.

One student, Dan, says: "Now they're staring at us over there. You just feel like they can judge our ways really just because we're a different colour skin."

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"I'm really scared, you have no idea," another said.

Channel 4
Channel 4

As we know, we are all products of our parents and this was proved in the show, with prejudice seemingly passed down from the adults.

Dan's mum Kate, spoke about the lack of people of Asian heritage in her town, saying: "I've not met many Asians in Tamworth because they're all in Birmingham. They've not come over yet. I'm waiting for them to come over here and try and take our jobs."

At another point in the show, Kiran, a student from Saltley Academy, was introduced to Lucas, a student from Tamworth who identifies as bisexual and transgender.

"Shall I say my honest opinion? I just don't like gay people," Kiran said. "I just, I don't know. I feel weird around them."

Unsurprisingly, viewers of the show were horrified at some of the prejudiced expressed by our youngest members of society.


While some Twitter users expressed outrage at the show being aired in the first place, one user pointed out its importance, saying: "It shows we need to start having more conversations about prejudice and racism openly and honesty, rather than aggressively shutting people down for saying the wrong thing.

"Education is the way forward."

Great British School Swap continues on Channel 4 on Tuesday at 9pm.

Featured Image Credit: Channel 4/ Great British School Swap

Topics: Entertainment, TV News, TV Entertainment, Channel 4

Ciara Sheppard

Ciara is a freelance journalist working for Pretty 52. After graduating from the University of Sussex, Ciara worked as a writer at GLAMOUR Magazine and later as the Assistant Editor of Yahoo Style UK. Please contact her on ciarasheppard@hotmail.co.uk.

 

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