‘My son was trying to rub the black off his skin, he was 5 years old’

High school students being bullied.

The parent of an 11-year-old dark skinned Maltese child has told Newsbook.com.mt that her son panicked after reading the comments from the Education Commissioner.

‘He was reading the story and he panicked,’ Stephanie Mifsud explained.

Mifsud had written a response to a Newsbook story about Education Commissioner Charles Caruana Carabez accusing foreign children of forming cliques and bullying Maltese children.

Bullying by foreigners controversy: Commissioner answers detractors with “facts”

Foreign students create cliques that bully the Maltese -Commissioner for Education

The Commissioner had said that the bullying was carried out by students from different nations and that none of them were black. He also proposed a school for international students but did not imply that he wanted to set up a ghetto.

He’s 100% Maltese but they bully him because he looks black

Mifsud responded saying that her 11-year-old son, who was adopted and is officially a Maltese citizen, was being bullied because he looked black. “There are children on the bus coming back from the church school he attends, telling him that, ‘they don’t talk to black people,'” she explained.

This has apparently been happening since he was five years old. Once, she describes that she caught her son rubbing his face with a cloth. When asked, he said he was trying to rub off the black from his skin.

We’re not teaching our children about racism or adoption. It needs to be in the curriculum

Mifsud explained that Maltese schools are providing Personal, Social and Health Education to a child which includes everything from sexual health to understanding sexuality. However, it does not teach about racism. “No one talks about racism. Why is racism not part of the curriculum?”

She explains that she had called on the school her son attends to do something about the issue of racism creeping into their school, as well as to teach tolerance in line with how they are educated about different gender and sexual orientation. Nothing has been done.

Mifsud told Newsbook.com.mt that there a number of similar cases to their experience. She explained that there have been situations where other ‘dark skinned’ children whom have also been adopted by Maltese parents, have had to move to new schools because of racism and bullying. Even in private schools, she says.

“It is a parent’s duty to teach their children about bullying. Bullying is the result of the parent’s upbringing. Tolerance, respect, these are things not taught anymore.”

I dare him to tell us

In her comments to Newsbook.com.mt, Mifsud explains that the Commissioner should have to face her and her son and hear their side of the situation.

“I dare the Commissioner to explain segregation to us. I want him to hear my son and what he’s been through.”

Interestingly, Mifsud raises the question of the Education Minister’s response. She says that it is interesting that the only group that responded to the Commissioner’s comments were the NGOs. “Where was Evarist Bartolo? He kept quiet.”

Education Commissioner report was ‘one-sided’ and ‘oversimplified’ on foreign students – NGOs

Concluding her comments on segregation, Mifsud says, “when all the world fought against segregation you are suggesting that we go back to segregation? And then what we have is segregation in restaurants and buses and during sports. You should be ashamed. You should either have resigned or been sacked.”