Via The Daily Mail
The mother of an 11-year-old boy has received an apology after a school official told her son he would have to ‘work harder in life’ – because he is black.
Rosamaria Failla, 34, discovered that a truancy officer had told her child Sonny that he would struggle in life because he is not a ‘white British boy’.
Sonny, who suffers from ADHD, had been struggling with teachers at Bowmansgreen School, Hertfordshire, when his attendance started slipping.
In a bid to make her British-born son feel better about education his mother arranged for council truancy officers to visit him at home in July.
But Mrs Failla was upset when the officer gave Sonny a brutal evaluation of his life prospects, warning him he would ‘have to work harder in life to gain people’s respect’ because of his colour.
She complained to police and the council about the comment, which she says was: ‘Because you are not a white British boy, you are going to have to work harder in life to gain people’s respect and achieve high things,’ which she claims is racist.
The schoolboy, who lives with his white mother, has grandparents on his father’s side from Grenada, in the Caribbean.
But Miss Failla, whose mother was originally from Italy, says Sonny’s race should play no part in concerns about his school attendance.
When I first came across this story I assumed the truancy officer was black.
There are many within the black community (particularly the older generation) who would agree with the truancy officer’s brutal evaluation that as a young black/mixed race British boy living in a racist society he will have to work much harder in life to make a success of himself because of the colour of his skin and it would be naive of the boy’s mother Rosamaria Failla to think otherwise. This is her son’s reality.
It is stated in the article that Sonny suffers from ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). If this is true then his mother and his teachers need to have a serious discussion about his future at the new school he now attends and then need to put together a course of action to help a struggling Sonny throughout his school years because he is in serious danger of being completely written off at the age of eleven and becoming just another statistic.
It would be good if his father also got involved (that’s if he is not already involved).
I do however think that the truancy officer could have chosen her words more carefully because Sonny is just a child but there is truth in what she said.
Your thoughts please….
Categories: UK News
I assumed the same regarding the race of the truancy officer as it sounds exactly like what was drilled in to me growing up as a child!
However whether the truancy officer is black or white it wasn’t her place to say that to him.
The mother sounds naive though because I’m not sure how saying what the Officer did can be construed as racist? The reality is black boys particularly within the education system are over represented when it comes to figures on exclusions, prison system, mental health system etc….Yes where is the Dad?!
This could have been handled much better due to the boy being a child and having ADHD.
The mother in my opinion is living in cloud cuckoo land. I plan to tell my children the same and see nothing wrong in what was said at all. It is the truth, but also you need to sometimes be careful in the delivery of how such things are said.
We are judged by our skin and names before we’re even called for a damn interview. Most of the times yes we do have to work harder just to show we’re capable even if we’re smarter than our counterparts.
This mother may get a rude awakening in years to come where Sonny may get harrassed by the police in his teen and adult years. Then she’ll know about racism. And for what reason was his attendance slipping in school. This mother is coming across as a little soft to me, and that’s me being nice. The truancy officer did her a backsiding favour.
Now had the truancy officer said you’ll NEVER get anywhere in life BECAUSE you’re Black then yes cue vexation central. She only said what a lot of us know and have been told for years.
I don’t know much about ADHD but sometimes I wonder about this diagnosis and whether it’s down to a crap diet, too much video game, tv and internet stimulation and just plain rudeness in SOME cases? I have read cases of parents TOTALLY changing their child’s diet from processed to organic and noticed significant changes in their behaviour.
When I was growing up in the 80s and 90s never heard of it. Soon as we reach a new technological age and can’t beat di pickney dem, pure running riot in households, where parents should be running tings. Kids have too much in their room doing things unsupervised like playing xbox for hours on end, only to go to school exhausted, malnourished and unable to focus.
In my day it was home, homework, freshly cooked meal, Benny Hill, bath time, read from A BOOK none of this iPad shit, then bed. Let me stop before I really show my age.
If Sonny’s father isn’t around his mother needs to look into possibly getting a mentor for her son in some way shape or form. And when I say mentor I’m talking about someone Black and male he can spend time with even if for an hour or two a week. There are organisations out there that do this type of thing. Better that than this boy grow up being deluded about being a young Black man in Britain because he can’t learn that from his white mother.
The mother is in denial about her sons ethnicity much like the #TeamLightskin contingent floating around. There is no easy, nicer way to say the world is racist. The words were spot on. A white head mistress told my oldest son the same thing in primary school and I am grateful to her for doing so, she put her job on the line to tell the truth just like the truancy officer. The father of this little boy should jailed for leaving his sperm unaided.
His mother is so naive. She really doesn’t understand what he will face in years to come.
I really want to know if Sonny’s father / or any members from the paternal side of his family are involved in his life.
The mother needs to wake up. Its the the truth, an ugly truth, but the truth nonetheless. I think as he gets older, this will become very apparent to her. The fact that he has ADHD will make it harder for him.
He’s also 11, this is the age where young oys start to follow other your boys and dont want to be “mamas boys” anymore. The social worker done her a favor telling him now, as clearly the mam had no intentions of doing so #wrongmove
See….. this is why I’ll never get with a white woman and have children even if they mean well they just don’t get it some white people who aren’t racist automatically think because they aren’t racist there are no racist people out there.
Race is still very much an issue in this world just look at posts on youtube. Black people do have to work twice as hard and are constantly having to prove themselves the social worker was preparing him for the harsh realities of life I grew up in a white family and the family were like this woman and they didn’t prepare me and brother for the racism that was gonna come.
White people have low expectations of black boys and fear them, even to this day the most well meaning white people still have outdated racist views.
I agree with London Diva when I read this article it reminded me of growing up the boy needs a mentor, the boy playing truant is probably a cry for help I just saw the article and it doesn’t help when the mother just doesn’t see race and he has a white sister.
The truancy officer made a valid point to the lad. I personally think that the hard lay across speech was the best way forward, it isn’t exactly like we live in a kind world. However, I do disagree with the truancy officer’s conclusion that by working harder Sonny will receive respect. Respect from who exactly?
We blacks haven’t received an ounce of respect from anybody yet, what, can Sonny succeed where we have failed? Highly unlikely, in fact let us be brutal and honest……NO!
As already stated by most here, the mother needs a serious wake up call, this world and the system within it does not like black people in the slightest, she is set under Babylon, he isn’t especially as a black male.
As for the father, I won’t jump to any conclusions as to why he isn’t in the boy’s life(if indeed he isn’t) as there could be a 1001 reasons for that, not just a hit and run scenario which seems to be the conveniently common thought of reason.
Actually, his truancy issue may be an indication and a live example that Babylon does indeed make it more difficult for the so called Negro to progress forward and does give him a harder time than others.
For me I am shocked but not surprised that people would agree would the truancy officers comment. The fact that many of people of African and Caribbean decsent including me and my peers were told that we should work harder already puts us in a position of inferiority. Success is about attitude despite the circumstances.
I have been working with young people for over 25 years and I will never tell someone that they should have to work harder because of their race, gender, orientation or religion. Work smarter maybe and realise the rules of the game but NEVER to have to work harder to gain people’s respect. I have two daughters and I encourage them that there are racists, sexists and all kind of weird people but that should not detract from their excellence.
The child has ADHD. If you have worked with children with learning difficulties or behavioural issues on the autism spectrum you realise it is not cut and dry. Schools struggle with it. Parents struggle with it. Even those of us who work with young people have to constantly find new angles to approach the problem. The mother tried to deal with it by getting an officer, someone she trusted would know how to inspire her kid and this is what she got. Its nonsense, and believe you me there are a lot of us in education and training who spend time in mainstream education, pupil referral units and prisons undoing those feelings of inferiority.
Heroes of mine like Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Toussaint Louverture, Ida B Wells, Una Marson encouraged a generation of black kids to never feel inferior. To always take pride in their capabilites. To be aware that others will see them differently to press on regardless. It is that kind of message not the “you have work twice as hard as white kids” message that needs to be reiterated, or we will be forever picking up the pieces.
absolute truth in what the teacher told him….. we can get picky about the exact words… for PC .. SAKE…. but in my opinion that doesnt warrant an apology….. its the truth!!
out of topic, but I find funny how people call him Black when he’s mixed-race. if it was a girl everybody would have said she’s mixed not Black.
@David Mcqueen I understand your post fully, but the simple fact is you tell black kids your just the same as white people just do what white people do and you’ll be alright and the fact is you won’t be if you’re black you’ll have even more problem, they have things sewn up.
I’m not saying this to make excuses because I’m not someone for that I’m saying it because it’s fact, to me telling someone they have to work twice as hard isn’t making them seem inferior it’s preparing them, wheter we like it or not we still get judged on colour.
I’ll give you example my white family brought me up that I was just the same as everyone else then I went to a white school was put in the basketball team even though I don’t like basketball, then when I played football even though I’m a centre midfielder the manager put me on the wing ‘you can run fast, right? what I’m saying is there are still negative sterotypes of black children, what makes black children feel inferior is the school system telling them they come from nothing.
@Martha I call him black because he looks black and that’s how society will see him. I know this for a fact white people don’t really see tones amongst black people all they see is black.
@Martha please don’t speak for me or anyone else.
@Chico_Rei, White Folks Do see colors and racial background! Do you think if Obama was likd Wesley Snipes and didn’t have a White mama, he would have been elected? why do you think light skinned and or mixed woman represent in both White & Black community the beauty of a Black woman? When mixed folks are not seen in a positive light, they are labelled as Black?!
@Martha Good point but, let me ask you a question, when do you see the average white person when describing someone black say he’s that light skin guy over there, or she’s the dark skin black girl there, like black people do, all white people will say is, it’s the black guy or black woman over there. It’s the same when you have people from the Dominican Republic who are black say I’m not black I’m Dominican, a white person doesn’t give a damn to them they’re just a Ni**a speaking spanish. White people don’t call Bob Marley mixed raced they call him black because he looks black same with people like Bow Wow.
When white people want to reach the black race and brainwash them, they don’t really want anyone of colour but to compensate they get the black person or mixed raced person who looks the most like them, with the same features like in the black edition of Vogue or who acts and thinks like them and then they push them out there.
I agree with you about when mixed raced people are seen in a bad light suddenly they are black.
Re: David McQueens comments. As well- meaning as they are, I fear for my future kids education if this is the sentiment! Truth is truth. The semantic play on what would make a person feel inferior is ridiculous! Being prepared for the reality of life is essential. I wonder what she and her son will be saying when he is disproportionately stopped and searched by the old bill? FURTHERMORE, ADHD is symptomatic of crap food, a lack of consistent parental discipline and failure to have kids do more than stay staring at screens for too long. I never had anyone in my generation that had ADHD and none of my friends kids have attempted to diagnose a bit if overzealous behaviour as such. My kids will have to study back home! kmt
I have to read the comments later! But i will say this for now…What he said was true! But i wouldn’t want it come from him!! The responsibility belongs to the parent! Also white women who get with Black men and have kids ….should explain to their child…no matter how mixed race he/she is.. he will be treated as Black. I have no idea where that termed mixed race comes from… BLACK is what they should teach him. In the words of Halle Berry.. mother told her..you’re me and your dad..But you’re a Black woman and you will be treated as such… by the world. And that saved her a lot of issues growing up…….. SO SHE SAYS!!! I’m paraphrasing