Grantham students take part in debate on hate crime on Stephen Lawrence Day
Grantham students took part in discussions about hate crime as part of an event to mark the first Stephen Lawrence Day.
Students of Priory Ruskin Academy joined other students from around the county for the Truth in Justice event held at the Lawn in Lincoln last week.
They talked about the murder of Stephen Lawrence and saw thought-provoking dramatic performances based around key themes. They were encouraged to discuss the circumstances, impact and effects of Stephen Lawrence’s death, in 1993.
Facilitators from Just Lincolnshire, the CPS, Lincolnshire Police, Stop Hate UK and Victim Support took part in the conversations with students.
Jess Catnach, head of social sciences at the academy said: “The day provided students with an invaluable insight into hate crime. They were so engaged and I look forward to continuing our work on this subject in class. Students will be producing their own mini-productions and, having been so moved by Stephen Lawrence’s story, are committed to spreading the word within the Academy”.
Truth in Justice was held as part of the first Stephen Lawrence Day, which was announced by Prime Minister Theresa May last year.
Chief Inspector Steve Williamson, Lincolnshire Police Force lead for hate crime, said: “I have been genuinely impressed with the questions that the pupils have been asking. The younger generation definitely have a handle on what hate crime is and can definitely make it a thing of the past.”
Janine Smith, Chief Crown Prosecutor at CPS East Midlands said: “I hope that as a result of this event, people will understand more about how hate crime doesn’t just impact on the victim it affects us all.”
The event was also supported by Lincolnshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Marc Jones.
He added: “It is fantastic to see young people make their voices heard about challenging prejudice and learning about how they play a part in creating a society that treats everyone with fairness and respect.”
Deputy Chief Constable Craig Naylor, Force Lead for Equality and Diversity at Lincolnshire Police, said: “It is valuable for us all to have important discussions about challenging hate crime, and for the public to have confidence in reporting incidents to us.
“We are clear that hate crime is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
Assistant Chief Constable Kerrin Wilson also attended the event.