Date lodged: 19 June 2018
To ask the Scottish Government how it ensures that schools are able to distinguish between prejudice-based bullying and potential hate crimes.
Answered by: John Swinney 29 June 2018
Bullying of any form including prejudice-based bullying is entirely unacceptable and we need to be vigilant in challenging any racist and abusive behaviour in our schools.
The Scottish Government published updated anti-bullying guidance ‘Respect for All: The National Approach to Anti-bullying for Scotland’s Children and Young People’ in November 2017. The guidance is clear that certain bullying incidents can often be more serious and could be potential hate crimes. The guidance details that it is important for schools and local authorities to ensure that staff are aware of this distinction, and that schools and local authorities have an important role in ensuring that staff have access to high quality Career-Long Professional Learning.