Groups of students from Years 10 and 11 were given a presentation about hate crime by PCSO Alex Franklin and a community safety officer from Corby Borough Council.
PCSO Franklin outlined various hate crimes, including on the grounds of age, race, gender or sexuality and said that people have to be aware that, even if their actions or words are not intentionally meant to incite hate, it is all down to how they are interpreted by others. He told the students: ‘It is plain and simple, just remember, be careful what you say, be careful what you do – know your audience. If you go out and say something silly and someone takes offence to it, then there is going to be a problem.’
Antonia Malpas, community safety officer from Corby Borough Council said: ‘We were raising awareness in relation to hate crime and reinforcing that it is how people perceive it. With the diversity that we have got in the area, it is just making people aware that something they do or say can be perceived to be hate related.'
PCSO Franklin said: ‘It is not just the interaction between two people, it is what other people are hearing and perceiving. Whether it is a throwaway comment, if it is heard by somebody and taken by that person as being a hate crime then we have to look into it and it goes through the system.’
Miss Martin who is head of Citizenship said: ‘Last term the students did social and moral dilemmas and we looked at the Holocaust in great detail, so this subject follows on from that and we have also been looking at mental health this term, while later we will focus on domestic abuse. We do tackle some difficult subjects but they raise awareness and spark a lot of debate and interest. PCSO Franklin and Ms Malpas raised important issues during this presentation.’