Brazil: Social Movements Attribute School Attacks To Hate Speech


By Aline Leal

We must debate the proliferation of fascist and hate speech in order to contain the violence reaching schools, a note released as part of Brazil’s National Campaign for the Right to Education (CNDE) says. The associated nonprofits expressed their solidarity following the attack in a school in western São Paulo on Monday (Mar. 27). A 13-year-old student fatally stabbed a teacher and injured three other teachers as well as two students.

“The surge in fascist, extreme right-wing ideas and behavior among the people—a culture of hate, xenophobia, and intolerance in its most varied forms—directly contribute to increasingly violent actions in society, both in schools and elsewhere,” the text reads.

The issue is not simple, the NGOs argue, and cannot be addressed with security measures alone. “School attacks are a reflection of a range of structural problems in Brazilian society that have been amplified by actions diametrically opposed to building a culture of peace,” they declare.

Also mentioned are data from a report entitled Ultraconservadorismo e Extremismo de Direita entre Adolescentes e Jovens no Brasil (“Ultra-conservatism and Right-wing Extremism Among Teenagers and Young People in Brazil”), released in December 2022. In the 2000s, 16 attacks were reported in Brazilian schools, with 35 killed and 72 injured.

Bullying and violence

“Gun attacks in schools carried out by students or former students are usually associated with bullying and prolonged exposure to violence—often in conjunction with family neglect, authoritarian parenting, and content shared on social media and messaging apps,” the report says.

Preliminary information about the attack at the Thomazia Montoro State School suggests some of the above. The students heard by Agência Brasil attribute the attack to a particular quarrel with an exchange of punches that took place last week. On the occasion, the perpetrator allegedly offended another student with racial slurs. Some claim the aggressor was a victim of school bullying.

Among the measures that should be adopted to tackle this problem, the CNDE names the end of militarization programs in schools, disarmament, the promotion of mental health policies, and a firm response to fascist speech.


Agência Brasil (ABr) is the national public news agency, run by the Brazilian government. It is a part of the public media corporation Empresa Brasil de Comunicação (EBC), created in 2007 to unite two government media enterprises Radiobrás and TVE (Televisão Educativa).

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