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Controversial issues: guidance for schools


Conflict and controversy is a fact of life

In an age of mass media and electronic communication, children and young people are regularly exposed to the conflicts and controversies of adult life.

Children are alert to information and images they see in the media. These may graphically influence their world-view, not always positively. Television images can fan anxieties and aggressive behaviour. In times of war there are often increases in war games and toy gunfights.

Groups denigrated in tabloid newspapers provide young people with the terms of abuse they apply to their peers in the playground or on the street. Hence the derogatory use by children of terms like 'asylum-seeker', or 'gay'.

You can also download the full text of this guide (pdf)

1. Young people's fear and concerns