This study examines xenophobic attitudes of secondary school pupils in the Netherlands. This study builds upon a previous research in three ways. First, attitudes of pupils from both the ethnic majority and minority groups are examined. Second, the impact of positive as well as negative inter-ethnic contacts both within and outside the school environment is determined. Finally, hypotheses about inter-ethnic contacts are tested while simultaneously reckoning with alternative mechanisms that might explain xenophobic attitudes. Cross-classified multilevel regression analyses show that the level of xenophobia is lower when pupils evaluate their inter-ethnic contacts as positive, and higher when they perceive these contacts as negative. However, the impact of positive inter-ethnic contact in class disappears or even reverses when multiculturalism is more emphasized during lessons.