Murdo has expressed his concerns at the “alarming” rise in racist incidents at schools in Perth and Kinross, with the number almost doubling in three years.
He was reacting to data obtained by the Scottish Conservatives which shows that the number of racist incidents recorded in schools in the region rose from 22 in the 2019/20 financial year to 40 in 2022/23. The figures for the 2022/23 are for Term 1 and 2 only.
Murdo said the figures “mirror” racist incidents in schools across Scotland and is calling on the SNP Government to introduce a more rigorous, mandatory approach to tackle the problem.
Previous data gathered between 2020-2021, showed that there were 1,198 instances of racially motivated bullying in Scotland’s schools, which was the highest level recorded to date.
A report issued in November last year by the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights’ (CRER) found that 83% of Scottish schools were failing to record incidents of racially motivated bullying, with 63% failing to use a bullying recording system at all. CRER stated that incidents of racism experienced at school may have a detrimental impact on a young person later in life.
Commenting, Murdo Fraser MSP said: “I am concerned at this alarming increase in racist incidents in schools in Perth and Kinross. I was quite shocked to see the figures had risen from 22 in 2019/20 to 40 in the 2022/23 financial year – almost doubling in that time.
“The schools involved have to be commended for recording these incidents, as it is evident that not all schools do this in Scotland. The data reveals that the racist incidents involved pupils directing this abuse to other pupils or staff. Unfortunately, it would appear that these shocking figures mirror those in some other schools across Scotland.”
Murdo continued: “Incidents of racism at schools should not be tolerated and I’m sure the schools involved will be taking measures to address this issue. Schools should emphasise the importance of respect, tolerance and equality in an age appropriate way to prevent bullying, racism, homophobia and misogyny.
“We need to see a more rigorous, mandatory approach to tackle this problem.”