The Effect Of Hate Speech In Class Room Management Among Students In Tertiary Institution


Background to the study

Students engage in social and educational exchanges at their schools, both with their fellow classmates and with the adults who instruct them. These exchanges are a component of the socialization that takes place in the school system, which may or may not result in beneficial outcomes. Students who have positive interactions at school are more likely to feel safe and motivated, whereas students who have negative interactions at school inhibit comprehensible input and distort learning in a negative way.

One of the phenomena that has the potential to undermine a child’s self-confidence and, as a result, their academic performance is speech that promotes hatred, which is a negative aspect of interaction. Speech that is intended to insult, offend, or intimidate a person because of some traits such as race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, or disability is considered to be hate speech. This definition comes from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. According to Adelakun (2017, page 1), the definition of hate speech is “any speech that is used to demean persons based on their identifiers such as race, gender, sexuality, disabilities, ethnicity, and predispose them to acts of violence.” The two definitions are comparable, with the exception that Adelakun (2017, page 1) includes the possibility that hate speech may incite individuals to engage in violent acts. The other definition does not include this qualification. For the purposes of this research, a “hate speech” can be defined as any communication directed toward another individual that is marked by extreme animosity and contempt and is motivated by their perceived disability. It is essential to make a clear distinction between speech that promotes hatred and reprimand. The latter has the intention of correcting someone’s bad behavior (in the case of a teacher-student relationship), whereas the former has the intention of devaluing and disparaging the recipient of the criticism.

Students’ academic success is largely dependent on their teachers as well as the members of their peer groups. According to research conducted by Waseka, Simatwa, and Okwach (2016), the academic performance of students is most significantly impacted by their teachers. They have the potential to either encourage or discourage students’ educational pursuits.

Olsen (2016) discussed the findings of a study conducted by Child Trends, a charitable organization that conducts research related to children and young adults. The study was a descriptive survey that looked at trends related to the students’ reports of being targets of hate speech. He conducted his study on young people and asked them whether or not anyone had insulted them at school based on their race, religion, ethnic background or national origin, disability, gender, or sexual orientation. He used young people as his research population. According to the findings of the study, a significantly higher proportion of girls than boys reported being the subject of hate speech based on their gender. According to the findings of the study, these kinds of events may have a detrimental impact on the physical and mental health of young people. According to the findings of the study, people who have been the targets of hate speech report higher rates of anger, loneliness, and powerlessness, as well as depression and anxiety. The findings of Olsen’s work were taken into consideration for this investigation because they demonstrated the harmful effects that hate speech can have on students.

Shah (2009) investigated the influence that instructors’ demeanor has on the students’ level of academic achievement at Pakistani universities. According to the findings of the study, the vast majority of teachers feel honored to do their jobs. They listened to the students with patience and openness to what they had to say. Both the teachers and the students reported that when they did well, their teachers praised them with encouraging words and that they placed a strong emphasis on helping the students develop positive character traits. According to the findings of the study, there is a high and significant positive correlation between the behavior of teachers and the academic achievements of students. This correlation is based on the observation that there is a relationship between the behavior of teachers and the academic achievements of students. The high level of positivity that teachers displayed toward their students led to those students achieving at a high level academically.

The study is an attempt at determining The Effect Of Hate Speech In Class Room Management Among Students In Tertiary Institution

Statement of the Problem

Students should understand that hate speech includes any cruel, hostile, or negative statements directed toward someone based on their race, religion, national origin, disability, age, gender, or sexual orientation.

Concerns have been raised about increased presence of hate speech in Nigerian campuses. The last few year has witnessed several incidents of hate speech in Nigerian campuses and the latest  among them is a female student identified as Deborah Samuel who was gruesomely murdered in Nigeria’s northwestern Sokoto state in 2022 after she was accused of hate speech and blasphemy. According to Vangaurd Reports 2022, unidentified assailants hunted down and killed Samuel after she sent a WhatsApp voice note to her classmates that some of them deemed to be hate speech and insult to the Prophet Muhammed.

Hateful speech bears negative repercussions and is particularly damaging in college communities across Nigeria. The efforts to regulate hateful speech on Nigerian campuses pose vexing socio-political problems, and the interventions to mitigate the effects require evaluating the pervasiveness of the phenomenon on campuses as well the impacts on students’ psychological state.

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