The Legacy of Stephen Lawrence - 30 Years On

We marked the tragic anniversary of Stephen Lawrence’s death in News Story - Marking 30 years since the tragic death of Stephen Lawrence assembly. The Stephen Lawrence Foundation describes how Stephen was “born and grew up in south-east London, where he lived with his parents Neville and Doreen, his brother Stuart and sister Georgina.

Like most young people, he juggled an active social life, school work, family commitments, and part-time employment. But he also had ambitions to use his talent for maths, art, and design to become an architect, and wanted to have a positive impact on his community.

Tragically, his dream of becoming an architect was never realised. On 22 April 1993, at the age of just 18, Stephen was murdered in an unprovoked racist attack. He didn’t know his killers and his killers didn’t know him.

After the initial police investigation, five suspects were arrested but not convicted. A public inquiry into the handling of Stephen’s case was held in 1998, leading to the publication of the Macpherson Report, which has been called ‘one of the most important moments in the modern history of criminal justice in Britain’.

It led to profound cultural changes in attitudes to racism, to the law and to police practice. It also paved the way for a greater understanding of discrimination of all forms and new equalities legislation."

The Stephen Lawrence Foundation was set up in 2008 and his killers were finally brought to justice in 2011.

30 years on we reflected on both the prejudice that continues but also the positive steps society has taken. As a school community we have worked hard to openly discuss difficult issues including prejudicial language and attitudes, social injustice and racism; in addition to working on ensuring our school curriculums are rich and broad in approach.

The foundation challenged students to a reading challenge this year: The Reading Ahead challenge is inspired by Stephen’s story and invites students to select and read six books that explore social justice and celebrate diversity. The challenge isn't limited to books - newspapers, magazines, poems, and websites all count! The challenge is about inspiring change and the aim is to encourage students to challenge themselves by learning something new and discovering the joy of reading in the process. We would encourage students to take part too.

Of course, as the foundation states, it is not just about campaigning for justice or reading - it is about sharing experiences, celebrating differences, having empathy and treating others with kindness. In short, to create that sense of community. We reiterated this message at school and look forward to celebrating and sharing different practices, beliefs and cultures on our Culture Day on the 28th June, as led by our Diversity Prefect and Diversity Society.


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