Racism hotline opened for Vermont parents

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(Host) A statewide organization called the Vermont Anti-Racism Action Team has set up a telephone hotline for parents whose children have experienced racial harassment in Vermont schools.

The hotline was first started up in 1996, but it was eventually discontinued. Now, organizers are reactivating the service after what they describe as increasing complaints about racial discrimination in schools.

Paij Wadley-Bailey is coordinator for the Vermont Anti-Racism Action Team, or VARAT. She says she’s heard many complaints from families, especially after the terrorist attacks of September 11, and with the arrival of refugees who’ve settled in Vermont:

(Wadley-Bailey) “Either white families who’ve adopted children of color or families of color are just experiencing, you know, they’re saying, ‘We don’t know where it’s coming from? Why this groundswell of racial slurs and name-calling, and even overt stuff?”

(Host) The number for people to call is 1 (866) Y-RACISM.

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