The Effect of Hate Speech on Secondary School Students’ Academic Performance in Umuahia North LGA, Abia State


  • Ngozi Ijeoma Ugo-Ochaulo Michael Okpara University of Agriculture
  • Clara Nnenna Inekwe Michael Okpara University of Agriculture


Hate speech, Students, Teachers, Academic performance, Umuahia


Research has shown that when learners are emotionally destabilized, its negative impact on learning experiences and achievement is inevitable. The use of hateful expressions by teachers  and peers which targets the students’ disabilities, gender, ethnic backgrounds, and so on, is  generating a stepwise entry into schools, consequently demotivating learning and affecting  achievement. The thrust of this study therefore, is to first, examine copious hate expressions  used by teachers and peers and their resultant effects on secondary school students’ emotions  and academic performance. Secondly, to investigate the gender of teachers and peers that use  hate speech more. Data for the study were generated through a questionnaire administered on one hundred and twenty randomly selected students as well as twenty teachers respectively. The participants were drawn from four public secondary schools in Umuahia North L.G.A., Abia State, Nigeria. The result indicates among other things, that hate expressions leave students with a feeling of low self-esteem, depression, loneliness, absenteeism, leading to poor academic performance as well as final drop out from school. The paper calls for strict measures against the use of incendiary statements on students by teachers and prohibition of hate language in our institutions of learning. In addition, negative peer group influence should be discouraged by education stakeholders.


Author Biographies

Ngozi Ijeoma Ugo-Ochaulo , Michael Okpara University of Agriculture

Umudike, Abia State

Clara Nnenna Inekwe, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture

Umudike, Abia State


Adelakun, A. (2017). But, what exactly is hate speech? Available at 31 August 2017. Retrieved 9 November, 2017.

Cruz, C. (2015). Teachers: Time to ban derogatory language in your classroom. Available at https://m.huffpost.commentary.Retrieved 2 October 2017.

Izard C, Stark K, Trentacosta C, Schultz D. (2008). Beyond emotion regulation: Emotion utilization and adaptive functioning. Child Development Perspectives.2, 156–163.

Kushinka, M. (2017). Speech Act Theory: From Greetings to Threats. Available at>speech-act-theory. Retrieved 30 October 2017.

Lopez, C., & Du-Bois, D. L. (2005). Peer victimization and rejection: Investigation of an integrative model of effects on emotional, behavioral, and academic adjustment in early adolescence. “Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology”, 34, 25–36.

Manns, H. (2016). Insults, offence and words that wound: why language needs to be handled with care. Available at 10 November 2017. Merriam-Webster Dictionary available at Retrieved 1 October 2017.

Ndimele, O. (2007). Semantics and the Frontiers of communication, 2nd ed., Port Harcourt: University of Port-Harcourt Press, p. 132-139.

Nordquist, R. (2017). Speech Act Theory. Available at Retrieved 13 November 2017.

Olsen, J. (2016). Trends related to young people’s experiences with hate speech. Michigan: Michigan State University Extension. Retrieved 10 October 2017.

Pavlov, I. P. (1928). The normal activity and general constitution of the cerebral hemispheres. In Society of Physicians of Finland, Apr, 1922, Helaingfors, Finland. New York, NY: Liverwright Publishing Corporation.

Shar, S. (2009). Impact of Teachers’ Behaviour on the academic achievement of University Students. In “Journal of College Teaching and Learning”, 6, 1. Available at 1 November 2017

Waseka, E.L., Simatwa, E.M and Okwach T. O (2016).Influence of Teacher Factors on Students’ Academic Performance in Secondary School Education. A Case Study of Kakamega County, Kenya. “Greener Journal of Education”.

Wiseman, R. (2014). Making it meaningful: Interrupting biased comments in the classrooms. Available at>tools-and-strategies. Retrieved 20 November 2017.




How to Cite

Ijeoma Ugo-Ochaulo , N. ., & Nnenna Inekwe, C. . (2018). The Effect of Hate Speech on Secondary School Students’ Academic Performance in Umuahia North LGA, Abia State. Journal of The Linguistic Association of Nigeria, 21(2), 188–196. Retrieved from