The Sting Focuses on Discrimination: The Effects Of Hate Speech

Hate speech is everywhere, whether online or in person, everyone has encountered some form of hate speech. Common encounters involve online comment sections and inboxes, posts, in-person arguments, etc. These encounters can cause mental and physical harm to those the hate speech is directed toward.

“Most of my health problems happened due to bullying and harassment at schools,” former Azle student Gabriela Loera Marin said. “When I was 17, I got out of high school due to how bad everything got.”

Loera Marin stopped using the public restrooms because of what would happen at school and the degrading words written on the walls and stalls.

“I would be afraid of going by myself, because usually, someone would push, shove, punch, kick, and even cut me if I would walk alone,” Loera Marin said.

Loera Marin has experienced bullying since she was six after moving to Texas from Mexico.

“People have given me hate since the first moment I stepped into the USA,” Loera Marin said. “I’ve experienced it in bathrooms, in public areas, and even at schools.”

Resources like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) are out there for those who have seen or experienced hate speech and need someone to reach out to.

“I thank my friends from biology class, my lunch group, and my bus driver for being the only ones who understood what was happening and trying to help,” Loera Marin said. “My bus driver helped me and took care of me when people were trying to bully me on the bus and not letting them tell me I don’t belong here.”

If you or someone you know has been the target of hate speech, they should speak to one of the crisis counselors, Kim Brown or Hollee Reed, or a trusted adult to find a solution so they won’t have to go through that anymore and help others not go through it either.