The goal of this toolkit and its associated workshops is to supplement a comprehensive anti-racism education program. It will give you the tools to identify when a young person is consuming hate propaganda and is becoming radicalized, and to intervene as early as possible before the situation escalates.
Canadians across the country report a rise in hate-promoting social movements. Because schools are hubs of our communities, they have become battlegrounds for hate-motivated organizing. There is evidence that hate-promoting groups specifically target young people with their messaging. These groups test market slang on Twitter, rewrite popular songs with white nationalist lyrics, and join mainstream video game platforms, all to reach a young audience.
The COVID-19 pandemic has only made this problem more urgent. As schools and classrooms adopt a more online and virtual approach, so, too, do those who seek to spread hate. This can manifest in zoombombings targeting anti-racist educator working groups, community town halls, and even students themselves. Virtual tools used by classrooms every day can be a battleground, where bigoted profile pictures and sometimes anonymous harassment of Black, Indigenous, and students of colour, queer, and otherwise marginalized students occurs.
The toolkit includes strategies to counter hate-motivated organizing in schools through sample scenarios that schools frequently encounter. Whether a student has been found passing out hate-promoting flyers on school property, or more actively advocating for a “white student union/alliance” or “Canada First” student group, the following pages offer advice for parents, students, teachers, school administrators, and the wider community. Not enough resources exist to address the problem in schools. This toolkit is specifically focused on responding to hate-motivated targeting and recruitment of students.
Everyone who engages in the life of a school is in a unique position to isolate and push back against growing hate-promoting movements. It’s time to own that power. Our job is to build schools where everyone feels valued, and where students can grow to be engaged citizens of an inclusive democracy.
This section of the toolkit includes:
- Information about what we mean when we talk about "hate movements"
- Why marginalized youth may participate in hate movements
- Information about digital literacy.