Work in classrooms can combat hate speech says UNESCO on

Work in classrooms can combat hate speech, says UNESCO on International Day of Education

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The Education, teachers and classrooms School children play a crucial role in the fight against this Hate speecha harmful phenomenon for our societies, the spread of which has been accelerated in recent years by the use of social networks.

Inside International Education Day, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) dedicates this 2024 celebration to the crucial role that education and teachers play in the fight against the environment hate speech, a harmful phenomenon for our societies, the spread of which has increased in recent years.

According to the international organization, more than 30% of students worldwide have been victims of bullying, which affects their performance. School, physical and mental health. With the passion of social networks67% of internet users said they had encountered hate speech online and 85% expressed concern about the impact and influence of misinformation on their fellow citizens, seeing it as a real threat that can destabilize societies.

According to the agency, hate speech is any form of verbal communication, whether written or through conduct, that “constitutes an attack or uses derogatory or discriminatory language in relation to a person or group based on their identity or in other words.” their religion, ethnic origin, nationality, race, color, ancestry, gender or any other identity factor.”

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Hate speech can arise Stereotyping, stigmatization and use of derogatory language. UNESCO highlighted that this type of speech is often used as the basis for conspiracy theories Misinformation, denial and distortion of events historical events such as genocide.

The international organization pointed out that this is due to the fact that this hate speech, which targets certain communities and makes them “scapegoats”, is becoming increasingly stronger on social networks and other online platforms.

Hate speech violates the basic human rights of the people it is directed against. Although many people think that they are only expressing their opinions (which can be offensive, scandalous or disruptive), the fine line between one and the other is emphasized by the fact that opinions do not incite violence, hostility and discrimination.

In and through education, teachers can help curb and eliminate this type of speech, draw a line between insults and hate speech, and help students understand the consequences and impact of their words and actions on other people.

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Contrary to belief, stopping the spread of hate speech does not affect freedom of expression. On the contrary, education can contribute to the defense of this fundamental right by promoting respect, mutual understanding and a shared sense of humanity.

Students must be taught to understand the mechanisms that support the functioning of media and digital platforms and to recognize the persuasion tactics often used to spread conspiracy theories and other forms of misinformation.

Developing media and information skills has been shown to make them less vulnerable to exclusive ideas and extreme violence. For their part, teachers are using these debates to better understand and reflect on students' experiences in the digital world, where hateful content is more virulent than ever.

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To complement curriculum interventions, it is necessary to create a safe, caring, inclusive and collaborative environment in classrooms. Because hate can create a sense of meaning and belonging, it is critical to invest in creating a sense of community inside and outside of schools and to integrate missing perspectives into the educational process.

Programs that support global citizenship education and promote collaborative, culturally responsive, and inclusive practices can help develop the skills and knowledge necessary to accept differences and participate respectfully in a diverse society.

Social and emotional learning provides practical tools and techniques that teachers can use to foster students' sense of belonging. By using case studies and real-life scenarios to discuss controversial situations and diverse viewpoints, learners are able to manage stress and negative emotions, recognize their strengths and weaknesses, and resolve conflicts.