Discrimination – 11-15

What is discrimination?

Discrimination is when someone treats you unfairly because of who you are – this could be because of your age; the things that you do or believe in; the way that you look or the colour of your skin.

Discrimination, racism and hate crime are often confused.

Discrimination means treating a person or group of people unfairly because of something about them. This could be their looks, their beliefs, the way they live or what they choose to do. People can be discriminated against through verbal abuse, graffiti, jokes, slurs or physical assault.

Racism is when people are treated differently, abused or discriminated against because of their race.

Hate Crime is any crime that is committed against someone caused because of prejudice or discrimination.

What is the difference between discrimination and bullying?

Sometimes discrimination and bullying are very similar. For example, if someone picks on you because of your skin or hair colour. But bullying is a bit different from discrimination.

Bullying can happen for no reason at all. Someone who bullies might pick on someone else because they’re jealous of them or dislike them. Sometimes people bully others just because they feel like it.

Discrimination happens because someone doesn’t like something about you. Sometimes people discriminate without realising what they’re doing. But whether it’s done on purpose or not, discrimination is always wrong.

Discrimination comes from prejudice. Prejudice is having an opinion about a group of people which isn’t true. Discrimination happens when you treat another person badly or unfairly because there is something different about them. It is never ok to discriminate – and it is against the law.

I am being discriminated against or Hate Crime has happened to me. What can I do?

The first thing you need to do is make sure you’re safe. Tell an adult you trust or a teacher, talk to us at Voice or tell the police.

Discrimination and Hate Crime can leave you feeling like others don’t understand you. You may feel alone or scared. But you don’t have to put up with it.

If you’re being discriminated against, or have had Hate Crime happen to you, make sure you:

• Keep a diary of what’s happening. You can use this as evidence;
• tell an adult you trust about how you’re being treated. They’ll be able to give you help and advice;
• If you’re being discriminated against at school, tell your teachers. They should support you and your school should do something about it;
talk to Voice. We’ll be able to listen and help you decide how to make it stop; or
• report it to the police. Discrimination and Hate Crime are illegal, and the police will help you.

What can I do about Hate Crime at school?

If you’re experiencing this type of bullying, the school should deal with it under their behaviour policy. This may include involving the police if the incident is serious.

Make sure you tell your teacher or another member of the school staff. If you’re unsure about anything, talk to Voice. We’re here to help and support you and we don’t have to tell anyone if you don’t want us to.

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