Jason Kuznicki at the Cato Institute recently penned an analysis that argued that hate speech laws encourage outrage over increasingly petty offenses. (I can see it as a valid argument — now all you have to do to be a racist is diagree with the President’s spending proposals.) Kunznicki has found more evidence for his argument: in the UK, grade schools have established “hate registers” which record alleged hate crimes on students’ records.
Peter Drury, a pupil of Ashcombe Primary School, is believed to have called one of his friends a “gay boy,” according to his mother.
The boy’s mum says she was called into her son’s school to be told by head teacher that another mother had heard him using homophobic language.
She claims she was told the incident would be registered and his file monitored while he was at the school.
“He doesn’t even understand about the birds and the bees, so how can he be homophobic?”
Schools are reportedly being given advice that offensive comments made by children as young as five should be recorded and kept on record until the pupil leaves secondary school.
Note the use of the phrase “is believed” – accusations apparently do not have to be substantiated.
Kids can be incredibly cruel, in both word and deed. But if we were to put every child who ever said something hurtful on a “hate register,” just how many kids would we have to register? All of them? What good would that do us?
It should be obvious what the intention here is: to establish a precident for criminalizing unpopular thought, and to establish a record of such transgressions. Imagine the political potential in having a record of someone’s alleged hate speech? It won’t take much at all to start recommending psychological indoctrination reeducation counseling for repeat offenders. It also won’t take much for kate speech to include far more than racist and homophobic remarks — how long before opposing high taxes is “hateful,” on the grounds that it is against the beneficiaries of state welfare?