Black caller says it's 'very, very rare' black children get chance to 'just be a child'

29 April 2022, 16:13 | Updated: 29 April 2022, 17:51

By Sam Sholli

A black caller has told LBC that it's "very, very rare" that a black child gets a chance to "just be a child".

Sally in Bristol made the point while speaking to LBC's James O'Brien.

The exchange has come as a report from the Commission on Young Lives has said that the process of "adultification" disproportionately harms black children.

The report states: "As the Commission set out in its first report, black children, particularly teenage boys, are less likely to be seen as victims, and more likely to be viewed as ‘offenders’ and subject to adultification’, where they are excluded from perception of the vulnerable and experience punitive responses.

"The process of adultification is one which disproportionately harms black children, presenting them as older than they really are and thus not treating them with the care and protection that should be afforded to minors.

"The recent abhorrent treatment of Child Q, a teenage girl who was left traumatised after being strip-searched at school by Met police officers while on her period, is a recent shocking example of how adultification can happen in educational settings. This case, and others like it, can only have a damaging impact on Black young people’s confidence in both schools and the police."

Reflecting on growing up as a black girl in her household, Sally told James"we are adultified at home".

She spoke to James about how people in the playground used tell her to twerk.

Reflecting on the experience, she said: "To any black listeners out there, I am not proud of this - but I used to get up and twerk."

Sally went on to tell James that "very, very rare" that a black child "gets a chance to just be a child".

She also spoke to James about a time when a male teacher had instructed her sister, who was 13-years-old at the time, to pull down her skirt.

The teacher had "told her that it is distracting to the male teachers and the male students", Sally said.

Sally went on to speak of how her sister skipped a lesson with other pupils in protest at what had happened.

She described her sister, who is now 14-years-old, as being the "complete opposite" of her.

She told James: "You could not tell my sister to get up and twerk in a school field like I did. She would read you the riot act."

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