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School bullying towards mixed-race children

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School bullying towards mixed-race children

Postby angelmae3995 » 10 Sep 2015, 23:02

So I have heard of bullying of interracial kids in Taiwanese schools. I want to know more details so I can discuss this with my Taiwanese husband. We live in Yongkang and my son is mostly exposed to English. My husband speaks fluent English and thoughi push, he rarely speaks Chinese to our son.
This is an early concern. Our son is only a year and a half. But we also have a second baby on the way.
I tried searching bullying in search but got a lot of politic stuff. I'd love to hear first hand stories. And if you haven't had any problems then id like to hear that as well.
I know experiences may be different for different racial mixes (is Black + Taiwanese, Indian +Taiwanese, etc) I myself am Caucasian. I'd love to get a good mix of info.
Basically what's bumped my curiosity is an article I just read and Hafu (interracial) in Japan. I shared to facebook and a few parent friends replied that it happens in Taiwan too. 2 of those friends are Caucasian + Taiwanese couples, one is English/Indian+ Taiwanese couple.
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Re: interracial (taiwanese/American) concerned about bullying

Postby Nuit » 11 Sep 2015, 07:06

I've not heard directly of any instances of bullying here.

But often kids get bullied because they are different - so if your child starts elementary school with poor Chinese, and he's interracial, he's definitely going to stand out. If you're going to send him to a local Taiwan school, then maybe your husband needs to starts speaking more Chinese at home.
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Re: interracial (taiwanese/American) concerned about bullying

Postby marasan » 11 Sep 2015, 08:45

Our daughter finished fifth grade at a local Taiwan school right by our house (she switched to a small American school this year). She had no problems as a result of her ethnic mix. She was picked on by one girl, but a few kids had problems with her (all others were Taiwanese).

Our daughter was very sad when she left the school. Many kids made cards for her and gave her presents. A few teachers also gave her presents and continue to give our daughter encouragement through social media (my wife is friends with them on FB and so our daughter's former teachers see all the pictures from her new school experience).

I think things are very mellow here in this regard. I guess I have heard differently, but I'm really convinced that in those small number of cases it was because of other factors (for example, one parent who didn't put enough emphasis on school in Taiwan and so her kids were not completely school-ready fluent in Mandarin, if that makes sense). I think sending your son to the local kindergarten starting a couple of years before first grade would fix all his Mandarin problems.
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Re: interracial (taiwanese/American) concerned about bullying

Postby Petrichor » 11 Sep 2015, 10:40

Being mixed or foreign is a difference that can attract bullies in some classes and schools where the behaviour isn't addressed. My son's white and he's in his fifth year in Taiwan and grade six in elementary school, and he's never experienced bullying that I'm aware of. However I know parents whose children have been bullied, both overtly and subtly, through exclusion. It's possible to push teachers into doing something about overt bullying (though whether this is effective depends on the teacher and the overall culture of the school) but there isn't much to be done if, say, the other children refuse to play with your child.

Your child will pick up Mandarin quite quickly at school, but it would help a lot if your husband used Mandarin with him. Children who are only exposed to English outside of school can struggle with learning written Mandarin. At kindergarten language shouldn't be a barrier or cause for bullying, however. It will be more a case of whether the teacher and parents allow/encourage the children to single your child out. Without knowing more, I would say you probably won't have problems, or at least not in the first few years, but it's worth being on the lookout for signs.
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Re: interracial (taiwanese/American) concerned about bullying

Postby Andrew0409 » 11 Sep 2015, 12:17

Your kid will be more likely be picked on for being socially awkward or unaware than being bi racial. I teach elementary school kids, some of them are bi racial or mixed between Asian ethnicities (like myself) and I never notice any bullying or exclusion of any kind based on their looks. Most young kids barely notices these things. But it's the kids that are socially unaware and immature or annoy other kids by doing certain things (example: trying to be first at everything) that really get excluded from the groups.
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Re: interracial (taiwanese/American) concerned about bullying

Postby nivek » 15 Sep 2015, 14:14

Our daughter mostly spoke English at home and watched English TV.. once she started going to a local kindergarten that all changed and her Chinese improved way faster than English, to the point that her Chinese is now better than her English. So I would first recommend getting your son to a local kindergarten just as soon as you can, and to get dad using the Chinese. Being able to socialize, fit in, and mostly communicating like a local for when he starts going to school is going to be the most important thing so he can make friends.

I was worried about our daughter, as the only mix baby in the school along with suffering from real bad eczema, I too thought she would have a target on her back.. I should not have worried, at least regarding the bits I was thinking would be problems.. kids often don't see what we see..

Yes there was a little name calling (using qu-yi-zi instead of qu-zi-yi but all kids got a bit of that first day), the worst was stuff was a couple kids telling her she had 'dirty' hands so she would go wash them, then when she came back telling her they are still dirty (mum is from the south), she quickly learned who to avoid, but nothing too serious that she could not handle, I think all kids go through a little of that, and it teaches good social skills. Now in grade 6 her and her group of friends are like peas in a pod.. they're inseparable.

Having a western background, I also assume you will not be pushing your son to get 100% on all tests or be top of the class, rather to just try his best, enjoy it and possibly learn something. As Andrew eluded to that attitude in itself strangely seems to help.. many of the Taiwanese kids are expected and struggle to do well with lots of pressure from their parents.. so they are competitive, if he is not out to beat them but rather a friend, they will be more accepting of him, if they can practice English spelling together.. all the more useful.
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Re: interracial (taiwanese/American) concerned about bullying

Postby Mordeth » 17 May 2016, 09:26

The Taiwan parent should only speak Chinese to the child. And the foreign parent should only speak their native language to the child. This is the correct way.

My son hasn't been bullied for being mixed. Although kids sometimes tease him about his English ability: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vscPk2E5J_8
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School bullying towards mixed-race children

Postby Gain » 27 May 2016, 19:42

I don't know if there's already a thread about this in the past.

I'm just kind of curious about your kids have experienced more bullying at Taiwanese schools because of their skin color? I'm not so sure as growing up, at the schools I've attended, hardly any kid was mixed-race, at least as far as I know, so I've never witnessed any bullying under racial context. I've heard of them here and there, but never had any firsthand experience.

Have your kids experienced any? Or have you heard of it from your friends who also send their kids to schools here?
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Re: School bullying towards mixed-race children

Postby UkJenT » 28 May 2016, 04:43

My mixed child attended pre-k to kindergarten at a Taipei public elementary schools. He stands out. My son also was one of the shortest students in class. He easily made friends with several of his classmates. He never experienced any form of bullying at school from his peers. But he did from one of his Taiwanese teachers when he attended a private cram school when he was three. We pulled him out immediately because he didn't like going there. He didn't like that teacher very much.
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Re: School bullying towards mixed-race children

Postby Andrew0409 » 28 May 2016, 16:03

Young children don't understand these things, they have no formation of our biases as we grow up from the world. I teach kids and your kid will be bullied for being weird not being mixed raced.
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