Earlier this year I was approached by a school wanting advice on how to deal with religious extremism in the context of eSafety. The question came in the wake of a huge news story in the UK where three London school girls had become radicalised via the Internet and left the country to join ISIS in Syria. Online safety has always been important in schools but the recent events and changes in legislation now require schools to be fully apprised with this new area.
To help develop strategy and communicate this new area of school policy the London Grid for Learning has put together an excellent set of resources explaining how to counter-extremism in schools.
The site explains how teachers and students can look through the extremist’s narrative, online safety advice for parents and teachers, and the role social media can play in radicalising young people.
”This resource should not only build professionals’ confidence in safeguarding young people, but also help in challenging anti-Muslim sentiment. It is designed to be clear, self-explanatory and easy to use. It has been primarily designed with a teacher audience in mind, and is useful for class teachers, school leadership teams, and non-teaching staff alike. It will help guide higher-level strategy formation, but is just as helpful for provoking discussion and reflection on an individual basis.”
London Grid for Learning created the site in partnership with Sara Khan from counter-extremism and women’s rights organisation Inspire. Sara explains how your school can communicate the message that mainstream Islam and ISIS are worlds apart, and describes how to approach the topic with students and teachers.
If you’d like to read more, Sara Khan recommends the book The Great Theft: Wrestling Islam from the Extremists
Thanks to Alan Mackenzie for making me aware of these new resources. If you have any eSafety questions at your school I recommend checking out Alan’s website.