This week I had a call from school saying Big had been involved in a racist incident.I was quite shocked as he isn't a name caller without being provoked and I've never known him to be violent, ever. I was told the incident was of a serious nature and the school takes a very strong view of such behaviour. I was also told some previous students had been excluded for such behaviour.
The teacher went on to say they would not be excluding Big due to his previous record of good behaviour. It seems totally out of character for him (no kidding!!), he owned up straight away and appologised. "He didn't seem to understand the ramifications of what he had said" I said he can say things without fully understanding what they mean. I still didn't have a clue what had happened.
When the teacher finally told me what had happened, I honestly couldn't believe my ears! Prepare yourselves...
He had been walking through school with his mate when some of the girls jumped out on him. They were messing about and trying to make him jump. It obviously worked as he blurted out "Gorilla". According to Big, one of them is called that by several people. It's like a nickname and yes, she's black.
Having spoken to Big about it, he was just calling her names. He didn't see it as racist. He wasn't singling her out specifically as a lesser person than his other white peers. He was merely commenting on the most obvious difference. Like any name calling, ginger, big nose, smelly. They are all based on the most obvious thing that makes the person different. This incident was no different. Not racist, just kids being kids and calling each other names. The school has just over reacted on her behalf. To prove my point, Big and this girl are mates, they sat next to each other in their next class and got on fine!
I have to be honest, to me it's just name calling. When we were at school, we messed about and called people much worse than that! I think people have developed an over sensitivity to anything with the mere suggestion of racism. If Big had singled out this girl repeatedly and called her names then yes, I would agree, it would be racist. A one off incident after being surprised, I think he just said the first thing that came to mind and definitely not racism!