Pupils at two county schools are taking part in a police campaign aimed at tackling attitudes towards hate crimes.
Prince William School, in Oundle, and Northampton Academy, in Northampton, have recently stepped up to the County Schools’ Challenge by launching the initiative to their pupils.
Following in the footsteps of many of the county’s secondary schools, Shaun Johnson and Mick Rodden, from the Northamptonshire Arson Task Force, visited both schools to introduce this year’s challenge.
The students had three days to come up with an effective marketing strategy and publicity campaign to increase awareness about the consequences of hate crime and encourage acceptance of people who express their individuality in a unique way.
Mr Rodden said: “The overwhelming enthusiasm of the teachers at Prince William School spread quickly through to the students. The groups instantly started discussing ideas and solutions following the initial presentation. There was much discussion about how hatred causes division in our communities, resulting in some very original ideas.
Mr Johnson added: “The Northampton Academy business and drama group also rose to the occasion and the students came up with a variety of ideas - which we are sworn to secrecy not to pass on! The innovation of young minds never fails to impress us.
“The business students appeared to be very much on the ball and well briefed in the concept. They all eagerly applied their talents to the subject. The drama students came up with a variety of scenarios, which visually demonstrated different approaches to the problem of hate crime.”
“Overall, the students were highly engaged, motivated and enthused by working on a project they could understand and relate to. It was wonderful to see the young people debating hate crime and the best ways to prevent it, with the aim of making their ideas become a reality.
“We have been really impressed by the hard work and imagination shown by all the students in their efforts to secure a place in the final.”
The final will take place at the Lighthouse Theatre in Kettering on Thursday, July 4, at 6pm. Anyone who would like to go and see the students present their ideas to the panel can book their ticket by calling the theatre box office on 01536 414141.