How to Prevent School Racism and Hate Speech in Google Classroom

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While social initiatives like Black Lives Matter are attracting global attention, there is still much to be done about racial discrimination, including school racism. What steps can we take to create more inclusive and equitable classrooms? Let’s look at ways to combat this problem in the educational environment.

Racism at school can take different shapes: comments, verbal abuse, ridicule, and sharing of offensive content and jokes.

In the US, bullying affects 20% of K12 students, with race being the primary factor for those who experience harassment. As many as 37% of black and African American students have been harassed or bullied, making them the most common victims of racism.

– Since the 90s diversity increased by 60%
– 8.5% of children in the US schools are English language learners
– Minority representation is bigger among students than teachers

As classes increasingly take place online, digital classrooms are also becoming the scene for racist incidents. Effectively preventing and combating cyber-racism requires constant monitoring of the digital classroom.

K12 teachers and Google administrators need to address this issue to create an inclusive learning environment where every student’s mental health and well-being truly matter.

 

How to avoid racism and hate speech in Google Classroom?

1. Monitor Inappropriate Vocabulary 🔍

Let’s talk about a solution to immediately notify school admins about bad language in Google Classroom.

What you need are automated real-time alert rules.

This is where a third-party application to monitor user activity in Google Classroom, such as GAT Shield, comes to your aid.

This tool helps the teacher observe each student’s behaviour during online classes. It allows them to focus on the class instead of trying to multitask: teaching and keeping an eye on students at the same time.

GAT Shield efficiently monitors the use of inappropriate language in the Chrome browser, chats, emails, and documents and enables K12 admins and teachers to respond quickly in case a student uses forbidden language.

Protect all your students from discriminatory behaviour in the school domain. Let the tool detect red flags of racism –vulgar vocabulary and hateful language– and react when it’s not too late.

How to Create School Racism Forbidden Vocabulary List

Set up alert rules for these words to recognize racist behaviour at school. Consider including these categories of words:

  1. Related to skin colour and other aspects of appearance (black, white, yellow, tan, hair, lips, etc.)
  2. Related to ethnic roots (native)
  3. Related to the history of slavery (slave, master)
  4. Race-related slang and slurs
  5. Other subtle racist comments

Supercharge Google Classroom Monitoring with Alert Rules: Ensuring Safer Student Behavior Management

2. Promote Diversity 📢

Create a safe space for students to discuss racism and discrimination in the classroom openly. This will allow them to understand how harmful these behaviours can be.

Social justice and racial bias should be part of the school curriculum. Students need to learn that this is not just a problem of a specific group, but can affect everyone.

Teachers can expand their knowledge by giving Google Classroom homework on diversity and inclusive society. Books, articles, websites, and videos from various ethnic backgrounds from around the world can help educate about cultural richness and different historical perspectives.

3. Encourage Empathy and Respect ❤️

Want to teach positive values? Start with yourself, showing them in practice.

Teachers must set a good example in the classroom. First of all, by appreciating different cultures and backgrounds. It is also advisable to encourage students to stand up against racism and support their friends who may be targets of discrimination. Positive behaviour must be recognized.

It’s worthwhile to ensure the spreading of inclusive and respectful attitudes and raising awareness of racial bias in the classroom. In addition, among the values of the school community should be fostering self-reflection on the diversity challenges that students may face daily. 

4. Implement Anti-Racism Policies 🛡

Sometimes, an empathetic and supportive environment is not enough to avoid racism at school.

That’s when a strict zero-tolerance school policy helps reduce racist incidents. It must include clear procedures that prohibit racist behaviour, discrimination, and harassment. GAT Shield can easily track and block hate speech in Google Classroom.

Moreover, awareness training for staff and students helps quickly identify racism and prejudice and take necessary action.

5. Establish Reporting Procedures 📩

What happens in your school when a racist incident occurs? If none has been reported for many years, you may want to analyse whether there is a safe space for victims of racism to talk.

It’s essential to put reporting mechanisms in place to strengthen the school’s antiracism shield. Don’t allow any incidents of racism or discrimination to be hidden due to fear or shame.

Safe reporting procedures must ensure confidentiality and student privacy. You can create a special chat or email in Google Classroom for this purpose.

The body that receives reports from students and teachers should record each incident and keep it as evidence. It must never reject or disclose any of them without permission.

Conclusion

Although many lessons have been moved to Google Classroom and other e-learning platforms, student interactions usually remain the same. Unfortunately, racial discrimination and hateful language have also become a challenge in the online classroom.

Content monitoring tools such as GAT Shield and strategies for creating inclusive classrooms help prevent and detect inappropriate student behaviour. At stake is the well-being and mental health of students, which affects their learning skills.

Read more about diversity and inclusion in education on our blog.

Diversity in Education: Key Strategies for Creating Inclusive Classrooms

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