Freedom of speech is one of the cornerstones of democracy, but it also has its boundaries and limits (Gorenc, 2022). According to Jääskeläinen (2020), to maintain democracy, it is important to find a balance between freedom of speech and protecting other human rights by countering hate speech. Even though most countries in the EU regulate, limit, or ban hate speech, hate speech seems to be growing continuously, both in online and offline settings across Europe (EESC, 2022). Hate speech is not an easy topic to address and it requires multifaceted approach (UNESCO, 2022).
One way to strengthen awareness and build resilience against hate speech is through education. Thus, both formal and informal education have a fundamental role in addressing the root causes of hate speech. In another news article we already mentioned an interesting study by Jääskeläinen (2020), in which the author concludes that the art education offers a creative and effective way to combat hate speech. In addition, hate speech could be included in various school subjects, such as physical education and related extracurricular activities which encourage team building, creativity, and social and emotional learning (UNESCO, 2022). Accordingly, teachers’ role is especially relevant in addressing hate speech. Castellví, Massip Sabater, González-Valencia, and Santisteban (2022) state that the teachers and educators should be well-trained to detect hate speech in society and learning environments and have the necessary skills to build counter-narratives and strengthen learner’s skills to do so. Nevertheless, teachers, trainers and educators are rarely trained to teach about and understand hate speech (UNESCO, 2022). This also results in the lack of resources and materials for educators to use in the learning environments. This shows that certainly more has to be done in addressing this societal and educational challenge and preparing teachers, trainers, and educators in dealing with it.
Through AMeLiE we intend to provide a training and resources for school communities on how to deal with online hate speech. On the AMeLiE platform you can find a vast amount of content which can be used in different ways and support learning activities. You can access the platform here.
Last result of this project – the policy recommendations will be available soon, so stay tuned!
- Castellví, J., Massip Sabater, M., González-Valencia, G. A., & Santisteban, A. (2022). Future teachers confronting extremism and hate speech. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 9(1), 1-9.
- Jääskeläinen, T. (2020). Countering hate speech through arts and arts education: Addressing intersections and policy implications. Policy Futures in Education, 18(3), 344-357.
- Gorenc, N. (2022). Hate speech or free speech: an ethical dilemma?. International Review of Sociology, 1-13.
- UNESCO, United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect (2022). Addressing hate speech: educational responses. Available at: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000382290