Prejudice is an opinion or attitude about a group of people that is based upon lack of understanding or incorrect information, for example a child who has a disability may be thought to have learning difficulties, this can lead to discrimination which is when a person is treated unfairly because they are a member of a particular group. A child can be discriminated against for any reason, whether it is because of their size, the fact that they wear glasses or the colour of their hair. Anyone working in a school must be aware of the ways children can experience prejudice and discrimination.
Types of discrimination:-
Special educational needs
Children may experience direct or indirect discrimination –
Direct discrimination - Direct discrimination occurs when you treat a pupil less favourably than you treat (or would treat) another pupil because of a protected characteristic, for example refusing to admit a child to a school as a pupil because of their race, or not accepting a pupil with special educational needs, also a group of children not letting a particular child join in with games because of their race appearance etc.
Indirect discrimination – This can be more difficult to spot as it usually occurs when there are practices and procedures in place for all pupils or a certain group that could put a particular pupil at a disadvantage or will be discriminative. A school requires male pupils to wear a cap as part of the school uniform. Although this requirement is applied equally to all pupils, it has the effect of excluding Sikh boys whose religion requires them to wear a turban. This would be indirect discrimination based on religion and belief as it is unlikely that the school would be able to justify this action.
The impact prejudice and discrimination