If we want students to feel safe at school, we can’t encourage teachers to spot potential extremist

In the wake of the Christchurch terrorist attack, former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair told a global education forum extremism should be treated as a global problem like climate change. He said:

there should be an international agreement to put teaching against extremism into education systems around the world.

Following terrorist attacks, it’s understandable politicians want to come up with quick, tangible measures to prevent other incidents and to tackle the problem at what is seen to be its core. There is merit in Blair saying challenging prejudice “needs to begin at an early age” (in schools). But we must also be cautious when promoting kneejerk responses to complex issues, particularly when it involves the welfare and future of children.

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