16 June 2014

Travel tales: talking to school children in Scotland.

I spoke to a group of 8-12 year old children about diversity when I was in Scotland. The friends I stayed with have a primary school aged son, and they suggested to the principal that I talk to the class. I stayed in a tiny town in Ardrishaig, about 2.5 hours drive from Glasgow. The school was tiny too.

It was wonderful and I'm so hopeful for the future.

I opened up the talk with a question about whether any of them know people who look different. Half of the class raised their hands - saying they've got family members and friends who have a range of disabilities, and some children's parents worked in disability care.

The class is doing a module on diversity - studying Scottish discrimination law and inclusion rules, and creating an accessible sporting venue. So cool!

The best statement from a child was "You should be someone's friend no matter what they look like."

I got some very intelligent (and funny) questions including:

"If it's too hot for you to cope in Australia, why don't you move elsewhere?"

"What's the racism like in Australia?"

"Why are people still prejudice when it's illegal?"

"My mother uses machines to help her with her MS. Do you need to use any machines to help your skin?"

And my favourite: "Do you speak Australian?"

It was one of my favourite moments of my international trip.

Thanks so much Peter, Lyn and Cameron, and to the staff and students at the primary school in beautiful Adrishaig!


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