STEPHEN Lawrence was just 18, when he was murdered on April 22, 1993 by a gang of racists in south east London as he waited for a bus with his friend Duwayne Brooks.

The original police investigation into his death was hampered by prejudice, incompetence and alleged corruption. Two teenagers, Gary Dobson and David Norris, were convicted of murder over his death in 2012 but the remaining three or four culprits have never been brought to justice.

The aftermath of Stephen's murder was a defining period in modern race relations in the UK, after the subsequent Macpherson Report into the case concluded the police were guilty of "institutional racism".

The case remains under scrutiny as part of a public inquiry into the actions of undercover police officers, who are said to have targeted campaigners supporting the Lawrence family.

Last year, Prime Minister Theresa May announced April 22 would become Stephen Lawrence Day, with the aim of celebrating and commemorating the aspiring architect's life and legacy, with the PM describing the murder as a "watershed moment for our country" that "demanded we wake up to the reality of the racism that still exists in our society".

As part of the events marking the first national day of commemoration, North Wales Police visited Mold Alun School, in Flintshire, to talk to pupils about racism, with both staff and students at the school keen to raise awareness of the issues surrounding Stephen's tragic death.

Pupils at Mold Alun and schools throughout North Wales are regularly visited by the force's School Community Police Officers (SCOs) who deliver age appropriate lessons and assemblies on topics affecting young people. These include, knife crime, racism, child sexual exploitation, social media and county lines crime, which involves the exploitation and grooming of young and vulnerable people in market and coastal towns by gangs based in large urban areas that use them to help distribute drugs. The police presentations are then followed up with activities and discussions by pupils.

The talk at Mold Alun, delivered by PC Debbie Barker, involved about 300 Year 9 students and was entitled Think Twice B4 U Speak. It encourages the children to value diversity and to realise everyone has an ethnic identity based on shared values, cultural tradition, language, religion or belief and yet at the same time people around the world share many things in common.

It also asks them to think before they speak and to ask themselves is what they say Thoughtful, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary and Kind. (THINK).

PC Barker said: "We ask pupils to think about what makes people different and what makes them the same and explain that making judgements based on ignorance and using racist language, even if meant as banter, is not only unkind and unnecessary, but is deeply offensive and can have serious consequences, including criminal prosecution.

"We want the pupils to think about why racism is illogical and offensive, and to see the dangers of where it can lead to, as in the murder of Stephen Lawrence. We also offer guidance about what they can do and who they can turn to if they encounter racist incidents."

After the presentation, students stressed the importance of referring to real cases and using short school assemblies to deliver the key messages with impact.

Sebastien, 13, said:" You can hurt someone's feelings without knowing, so this talk made it clear that you should think carefully before you speak."

Seren, 14, said the lesson was "eye opening". She said: "It tells you that people can be racist and that you need to challenge it and not sit back and let it happen. You have to report it."

Evey, 16, added: "It's good to talk about Stephen Lawrence and what happened, even though it was a long time ago, so young people know and so that such things don't happen again."

Colin Ellis, assistant head teacher, said: "At Mold Alun we try and make sure pupils have a wider understanding of the world around them and that means we need to discuss some hard hitting topics. Society has changed a lot with social media and pupils are actually far more aware of these things than possibly I was at school but they still need educating on these issues.

"Some of the topics we discuss like county lines and racism are things they need to be aware of and what we tend to do is bring in outside experts because our staff might not have the correct understanding or knowledge. Logistically it can be quite difficult but we do value it."

Mr Ellis added that it was

"It's something you can't measure and it's not like a grave you can give," he added. "Schools are very focused on measuring and outcomes and maybe we measure too much but sometimes you just get a feeling that it's working. School is not just about what grade you get in maths or science - it is about preparing young people for the world and it's hard to put a value on that but I think culturally our students are leaving here as better people from having experiences like this."

If pupils are victims of racist abuse or witness such incidents they are urged to tell someone. This could be their family, school staff, the school liaison officer, or responsible peers, or call Childline on 0800 1111.