A mum has pleaded with parents to educate their children after her child’s Facebook profile picture was changed to a monkey during a racist bullying incident.   

Laura Klee, 39, of The Old Coach Yard in Witney, said her daughter has been left feeling “very anxious” and “in tears” because of the bullying, which is motivated by the fact she is mixed-race.

Miss Klee explained her daughter - who she does not wish to be named – has experienced a range of racist abuse since they moved from Oxford to Witney.

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When she was in primary school one child said “what is your problem, little brown lady?”.

At secondary school, pupils have tugged at her braids and another child told her to “shut the f*** up” and said he would he would “say something to her but it would be racist”.

As well as, there is a trend amongst pupils at her school to ask for an ‘N-pass’ from her; which is asking for permission to be able to say the racial slur.

“She is very anxious. I have had tears from her saying she ‘wishes she looked like everybody else’. For a while she just wanted straight brown hair,” Miss Klee explained.

In the most recent incident at the local park, her daughter’s Facebook picture was changed to a screenshot of a monkey in a TikTok video.

Oxford Mail: The image Miss Klee's daughter's profile picture was changed to The image Miss Klee's daughter's profile picture was changed to

Miss Klee said her daughter did not initially tell her about the profile picture being changed because she was embarrassed and had come to accept the behaviour as ‘normal’ because she is mixed-race.

The 39-year-old, however, was “fuming” when she found out and went straight to her child’s school about the racist bullying.

Miss Klee told the Oxford Mail the school’s response has been “nothing but amazing” and they have taken the incident “very, very seriously”.

The mum has now called on other parents to educate their children about racism and the impact it can have.

She said: “A lot of it is done, not necessarily with malice but it is ignorance more than anything.

“These children might not feel it is done in a nasty way but actually it is a micro-aggression. Those sort of things are what black people have to put up with everyday in society that, as white people, we are not seeing.

Oxford Mail: Part of the problem is children cannot get away from bullying due to social media, Miss Klee says Part of the problem is children cannot get away from bullying due to social media, Miss Klee says

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“We really need to wake up and ask ourselves why are [children] doing those things?”

Miss Klee understands racism is so “deep-rooted in our society” that it is going to be difficult to “squash out”.

She firmly believes, however, that “these conversations at home are probably what is going to help get it started”.


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This story was written by Sophie Perry. She joined the team in 2021 as a digital reporter.

You can get in touch with her by emailing: sophie.perry@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @itssophieperry

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