Addressing controversial issues
Teaching controversial issues raises challenges for both teachers and school directors.
However, being able to discuss sensitive and controversial issues in a respectful way is a vital skill in a democratic culture.
Schools must be places where students feel safe to engage in debates with people who have different opinions. Through the careful management of discussions on controversial issues, schools can promote freedom of expression, as well as inclusion, tolerance and human rights and prevent, or counter, the use of hate speech by students.
To achieve this, a school action plan on managing controversial issues – which provides staff training – should be adopted as a priority.