Support for young people over strip search school incident
By now, you probably will have seen the news reports and social media posts regarding the strip search of a 15 year old Black schoolgirl in Hackney in 2020.
The details of what Child Q experienced in school, where she should have been kept safe, and shown care and concern, is extremely distressing to hear about. She should never have been treated in such an undignified, humiliating, and dehumanising way.
We are sorry she was let down by the people who were supposed to protect her. As Child Q rightly states, “all the people that allowed this to happen need to be held responsible.” We stand side by side with Child Q and her family. This must not happen ever again.
All aspects of Child Q’s treatment were completely unacceptable, and we understand, share and hear your upset and anger.
The fact remains that if Child Q was not a Black child, it is highly unlikely she would have been treated this way. The report states that racism was ‘likely to be a factor’ which meant she was not safeguarded as all children and young people should be. We want all children to feel safe and protected. We want all of our Black children and young people to feel safe and protected.
We understand how distressing hearing about this may be. If you would like to talk to someone about how these recent events have made you feel, please speak with a Young Hackney worker. We will provide a space for you to talk and be heard, and if you need further support, we can put you in touch with someone who can help. Please drop in to any of our youth hubs – details can be found at www.younghackney.org.
You can also access Kooth online. Kooth is a free online counselling and emotional wellbeing support service for young people aged 11-19 in City and Hackney. Kooth has no referrals or waiting lists and young people can access it anonymously. It’s open 365 days a year from noon to 10pm weekdays and from 6 to 10pm on Saturday and Sundays.
Alternatively, you can text Shout, a 24/7 UK crisis text service available for times when people feel they need immediate support. Text the word ‘SHOUT’ to ‘85258’ and you will be put in touch with a trained Crisis Volunteer (CV).
If you’re over 18, you can access Talk Changes. Talk Changes helps people aged 18+ with a wide range of worries, common mental health problems and emotional difficulties. They provide therapy and employment support to those who are registered with a GP in City and Hackney, or registered with an online GP service and living in the area.
We want meaningful change. We want to dismantle racism and all other forms of oppression. We at Young Hackney will continue to challenge ourselves and our partners and be a driving force of meaningful, systemic change – change that means children and young people are better safeguarded and your wellbeing prioritised.