Fighting Against Hate in School

Hate speech in our society has existed for centuries, and the school system has only continued to create an environment where derogatory remarks and hostility toward others can happen. When teenagers are expected to co-exist together for about 175 days a year, this can result in individuals being singled out and oppressed.

“About one in five students aged 12 to 18 were bullied annually in school years 2014-15, 2016-17 and 2018-19,” according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. “Of students who were bullied in school year 2018-19, about one in four students experienced bullying related to their race, national origin, religion, disability, gender, or sexual orientation.”

With that said, our school has done a significant amount of work promoting inclusivity through the numerous clubs and organizations we have on campus. A few examples include the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Club, Culture Club, InterACT and more.

These clubs promote inclusivity by encouraging students to come together and learn about different identities and cultures as well as how to give back to your community and help those in need. They also allow students to have a safe space within the school and to feel welcomed and supported by their peers.

Educators can only restrict hate speech so much, but there are ways that students can help to stop the spread as well. Consider joining a club that promotes inclusivity, and students should make sure to stand up against hate speech when they hear it. Don’t support clubs or events that encourage hate speech, and make sure you surround yourself with people who will promote positivity. Anything to help stop hate speech in school and make it more inclusive to all students.

Overall, hate speech can result in students feeling both unsafe and unwelcome in their school and can cause detrimental harm to students’ mental health and self-image. Everyone deserves to be accepted regardless of how they look, who they love, etc. You can make a difference. Be a voice for those who are experiencing discrimination and make an effort to change your school environment for the better.