Pupils stars of race hate film

Teacher John Topping with pupils in one of the stills from the new DVD.

Teacher John Topping with pupils in one of the stills from the new DVD.

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RELIGIOUS hate crime and racism might not be something children face every day.

But pupils at a Bispham school have been looking at how they would cope if they came face-to-face with prejudice.

The talented teens joined pupils from across Lancashire and Manchester, to star in a special anti-hate crime DVD, which will be shown in schools across the North West.

And not only are the pupils – and Bispham High School’s deputy headteacher John Topping – the stars of the show, they also helped devise the film based on personal experiences.

The project was put on by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Anthony Walker Foundation (AWF), and Mr Topping said: “Lessons and assemblies help young people to be more tolerant and mindful of the needs of others on their journey to becoming better citizens of the world.

“I firmly believe better citizens are better learners and so will access those higher levels of attainment.”

The DVD features scenarios including a black teenager being racially abused by others at football training and a Jewish boy being taunted on the street and then physically assaulted.

It also features youngsters talking about their experiences of hate crime, and will be used in schools to encourage children to challenge prejudiced behaviour.

Nazir Afzal, the North West’s chief crown prosecutor, said: “The young people who worked on this project with us have been inspirational.

“Their ideas, enthusiasm and willingness to share their own experiences brought the stories in the video clips to life and produced a powerful and thought provoking DVD.”

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