Hate speech went to school and Brazil didn’t see it

A survey by Unicamp’s Institute for Advanced Studies lights a red light on the Brazilian educational policy panel. In the last 21 years, at least 23 schools have suffered attacks from students and alumni. Of this total, seven attacks took place in the second half of last year. Two occurred this year. That is to say: nine of the 23 attacks registered in two decades —or 39% of the total—happened in the last nine months.

The phenomenon deserves much study. It is possible to intuit from the outset that hate speech went to school. And Brazil, distracted by the political polarization, didn’t even notice. The attacks produced 36 corpses in schools — 24 of students, five of teachers, two of school employees and five of the perpetrators of the attacks. Of the total number of dead, six went down to the grave last year. Two this year, including teacher Elisabeth Tenreiro, stabbed to death this Monday by a 13-year-old student at the Thomazia Montoro school, in Vila Sônia, west of São Paulo.

One of those responsible for the research carried out at Unicamp, Professor Telma Vinha, who coordinates a group on Ethics, diversity and democracy in public schools, sees in the proliferation of attacks on schools a “very serious emergency situation, of high complexity”. She told Globo that the profile of students and former students who attack schools shows sexist and misogynist profiles. Restrict your relationships. They find welcome in morbid communities of social networks.

Any resemblance to the diffusion of the speech in antisocial networks focused on politics cannot be mere coincidence. Ultrapolarization has divided families, divided friends, poisoned work and leisure environments. It would be naive to assume that rabies would not contaminate schools.

Deep down, the purpose of education is to turn empty brains into open minds. It gets harder to build a citizen in a boy when adults need to be fixed.

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