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How do we recommend teachers and schools work with the SELMA Toolkit?

The Toolkit content and activities can be used in many ways and the Toolkit mechanism has been designed to reflect that.

It can be used:

  • as a teaching resource to map into an existing curriculum scheme;
  • as a stand-alone curriculum resource allocated time within the wider curriculum;
  • as a resource to support other topics;
  • as an education intervention in response to issues that have arisen;
  • as an information bank to raise awareness and inform staff/parent perspectives towards online hate issues.

Most of the individual activities in the resource bank are short and can be run in about half an hour. They are intended to build safe and empowering environments for students to debate and discuss these issues and gradually progressed in short sessions.

In the longer term, however, pathways of change can only be successful when they follow a holistic plan of action. Media literacy knowledge and skills should be combined with social and emotional learning. Online hate should be considered as a pattern of behaviour, interconnected with the social and cultural contexts in which it takes place. Children and young people should be involved in a wider societal debate on how to replace the culture of online hate with tolerance and mutual respect. This should happen in dialogue with teachers and parents, professionals and carers, and a wider range of education, industry and civil society stakeholders.

In this sense, tackling online hate speech ideally happens through a collaborative effort. Therefore, we will conclude this “How to?” document, by providing further guidance on:

  • How the Toolkit materials can be integrated across the curriculum, providing an incentive for teachers active in a variety of subject areas to jointly address the issue of online hate, each playing their role in putting together a rich and diverse cross-curricular SELMA puzzle.
  • How to use SELMA to develop and implement a whole-school strategy in which children and young people, parents, school staff and the whole school community will work together in a more structural and systematic way. Typical elements of whole-school approaches include: school councils or assemblies, systems that support parent/carer involvement, (adult) modelling of positive relationships and communication, developing a restorative ethos and culture that supports the development of social and emotional skills, improving the school environment, and so forth.