Freedom of speech, enshrined in international law, is a fundamental tenet of human rights. It is expressed in the freedom to express one’s opinion and thoughts, both verbally and in written speech. Schools need to offer their staff and students the ability to speak their minds without fearing punishment, as healthy school environment remains one of the pillars of socialization. The issue with freedom of speech, however, lies in the fact that, if exercised excessively and with specific intent, freedom of speech can quickly turn into propaganda. This problem can be especially concerning in school setting, as children are more susceptible to influence.
To ensure that the right to speak freely does not get interpreted as a permission to express hate and create propaganda, a specific set of rules in regards to freedom of speech need is required. Moreover, a specific policy should regulate the appropriate assessment and, if necessary, punishment for those who violate school code in regards to freedom of speech and propaganda. Additionally, teachers should also follow the aforementioned rules to set an example for the students. The main argument here is that while students should be allowed to discuss social, political, and other issues, they have to follow the guidelines of a respectful and constructive discourse.
The first action that should be taken is for the school personnel to ensure that students are fully aware of the existing speech rules. It can be done through lections and workshops on the freedom of speech and propaganda, during which students can learn why and how they should speak correctly. Another action would be to establish policies for regulating the instances of hate speech and propaganda for all members of the leaning process: teachers, students, and staff. The latter is necessary to support equality and reinforce positive atmosphere at school.
Both actions can and should be done by the school management, as they would require legislative power to be applied. Principal and the school office should develop a detailed plan of designing and implementing the learning process and the policies, also attracting the teachers into it. Development and implementation of policies should be funded by the school itself, as it would not require significant monetary support, but rather time and human resources. Whereas the learning opportunities for teachers and students should be financially supported by the state via specific social programs and organizations.