20,000 children on file for committing verbal hate crimes

More than 20,000 pupils aged 11 or younger were put on record for calling their peers' horrible names last year

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Are playground squabbles turning into a breeding ground for homophobic and racist comments? Last year, more than 20,000 children aged 4 to 11 were put on record for so-called “hate crimes”, which include the use of the word ‘gaylord’, according to the Daily Mail.

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Schools have to report the language use to education authorities, and the figures from last year were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Some of the children reported for using the words ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’ in a derogatory way were from nursery schools.

Anti-bullying campaigns are strong within schools around the country and any homophobic or racist comments are included within their policies.

“There is a world of difference between racist abuse and primary school playground spats,” said Adrian Hart, from the civil liberties group Manifesto Club.

However, a school or nursery can keep the pupil’s name and offense on file and the file will be transferred from school to school with the pupils, so although these playground quips may sound petty, they can in fact be a big deal.

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