What I have gathered is that, at such young ages, many children reject others who are different to them, in looks, race or background. I have also found that this intolerance worsens with age.
In the first few years of school, children are unaware of the things that set them apart from other people, their naivety makes them very accepting of others. It is the years following this that really shape who they are and their attitude towards those around them. That’s why I think it is extremely important that we are seeking to educate children of this age on what it means to be tolerant.
It is fair to say that a lot of the judgement we see these days can be due to the influence parents have on their childrens’ thoughts and actions. In an ideal world, tolerance would be taught at home and in school, but for some children, intolerance is deep rooted in their upbringing and pervades their home life. That’s why I believe getting young children involved in Tolerance Day is so important. It gives us the chance to bring up a generation in the UK without preconceived ideas of others and with an open attitude towards all people regardless of their differences.
During a time of islamophobia, homophobia, and Donald Trump, it’s time for us to take the lead and stamp out the problem; and what better place to start than with children. These are the people who will make the decisions of future generations, so let’s ensure these are made without prejudice and with openness.