Yesterday we posted a video to some of our social media channels that some may have found distressing. We apologise for any upset caused- but we posted the video to spread awareness of a brutal and horrific attack on a young Black female student.
As a active member of the UK education sector, mother to a Black daughter, member of the Black community, I have been profoundly affected by the horrific images of one of your Black female students being viciously and brutally attacked in close vicinity of your school gates and within the gaze of senior members of your staff.
While I may not be a member of the Thomas Knyvett/ Howard Partnership trust community – I am concerned parent member of the wider UK tax paying community and for this reason feel compelled to reach out to you. While we sit at home accessing social media images and news reports on this horrendous event, it may be simple for some to log out, turn over the channel and turn a blind eye to something that can be labelled as a ‘Thomas Knyvett and/or Howard Partnership problem. But in this process, we continue to remain complicit in the cycle of systematic racism that exists throughout our society. Consider for a moment the issue of mental health within the Black community and the emotional trauma experienced and passed down through generations of young Black people, condemned to a continuous state of inequality, simply due to the melanin that is contained in our skin.
As an education institution you Thomas Knyvett/The Howard Partnership Trust have a duty of care to your students and staff to acknowledge the issue of racism that is plaguing our world today and must go further to offer more robust policies, practices and procedures that create effective anti-racist actions. Those which include greater levels of support to your Black students and staff moving forward.
Having examined your policies relating to safeguarding, Racist incidents and anti-bullying I find them extremely brief and there are a number of areas that require immediate development. I pose the following questions/points to Governors, Senior Leaders, Safeguarding Leaders and members of the Thomas Knyvett staff body as a whole
· How are Thomas Knyvett /Howard Partnership Trust planning to immediately address the violent, racist attack on a Black female member of their student community and the impact it may have on your other Black and students and staff?
· How are Thomas Knyvett /Howard Partnership Trust planning to support the immediate mental health needs of their Black students and staff?
· When are Thomas Knyvett /Howard Partnership Trust planning to enhance current safeguarding policies and procedures to better meet the needs of their Black students?
· When are Thomas Knyvett /Howard Partnership Trust planning to enhance polices, practices and procedures related to racist incident and bullying to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their Black students?
This week I have had to find a way to explain to a 7-year-old Black girl why a head teacher was seen to stand back and allow one of his Black students to get attacked by a group of white women. I also helped a 16-year-old young Black women to manage her emotions when told by a fellow white student that the Black female Thomas Knyvett student must have deserved or have done something beforehand to warrant her vicious attack!! And this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Our young Black people are traumatised. Our Black children are attending institutions like Thomas Knyvett which actively contribute to their harm. This letter is a call to immediate anti-racist action. As a member of the Black community and an active member of the UK Education sector I demand that leaders of Thomas Knyvett/ Howard Partnership trust do better and use this opportunity to do what is morally right for you cohort of Black students and staff.
I look forward receiving a written response to communication and my questions posed