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RE: After criticism from ACLU, School Committee ‘struggling’ to develop hate speech policy

May 15, 2024
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In creating a “hate speech policy,” it might help to forbid (and penalize) only the most hateful type of speech, and to empower authorities to deal with most other situations. Brookline can develop hate speech guidelines that the ACLU does not object to. Most hateful speech can be addressed in an old-fashioned manner. An adult authority (perhaps the principal or vice-principal) can discuss the incident with the student and make a decision what if any consequence there might be. A first incident of hate speech by an offender may call for a lower-level consequence. Perhaps all that is needed is a dialogue with the student and a warning. Perhaps the offender should offer an apology to a student or students. Repeated incidents of hate speech call for more severe consequences.

In order to ensure reasonably consistent and fair policies across Brookline, the School Committee and/or superintendent can ask principals and vice-principals to meet to develop flexible guidelines on how to deal with hate speech.

Read the original article, After criticism from ACLU, School Committee ‘struggling’ to develop hate speech policy

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