What Is A Hate Crime?

April 19, 1992

An act intended to cause injury, emotional suffering or property damage through intimidation and harassment. It may be delivered in the form of racial or ethnic slurs, vandalism, or the threat of force, andbe motivated all or in part by hostility to a person's race, ethnic origin, religion or sexual orientation.

WHAT SCHOOLS CAN DO

* Write a policy that defines hate behavior, the consequences forparticipating in it, and a simple, well-publicized process for reporting it.

* Train faculty and staff to prevent, respond to, and report hate crimes, and require an appropriate and timely response. Postpermanent notices encouraging students to report incidents.

* Investigate the incident. Question witnesses and involve police if appropriate.

* Follow up. Meet with staff, provide student-awareness activities, respond to media.

* Determine and take proper disciplinary action.

* Maintain a central depository for reports of incidents, and make it clear who is responsible for dealing with incidents.

* Appoint a committee to assess school climate, review incident reports, and identify potential problems.

* Offer programs to promoteunderstanding between students that will help prevent and resolve conflicts.

* Offer courses with multi-cultural components.

* Train school counselors in victim assistance.

* Reassure the victim and the victim's family that the incident will be treated seriously.

*Source -- Hate Crime: Sourcebook for Schools

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