Have You Witnessed Bias or Hate Crimes at School? Report Them to EdWeek
Since the divisive 2016 presidential election, teachers have been concerned about a growing number of bullying incidents rooted in hate or bias. According to anecdotal reports from educators, some students have been mimicking some of the inflammatory rhetoric they've heard on the news—telling Hispanic students that they or their family members will be deported, or telling Muslim students that they are not welcome in the United States.
In an unscientific survey of 10,000 educators following the election by Teaching Tolerance, a Southern Poverty Law Center education project, 40 percent reported hearing derogatory language directed at students of color, Muslims, immigrants, female students, or LGBT students.
Now, in light of the Charlottesville, Va., rally by white nationalists, and the ensuing national debate over symbols and statues tied to the Confederacy, some teachers are bracing for even more bitter divisions and arguments to hit the classroom.
But there isn't a comprehensive picture of how often hate crimes and bias incidents actually occur in schools across the country, because the data behind these incidents is weak.
That's where you come in. Education Week is asking readers to help create a fuller picture on hate-fueled episodes of harassment and bias that take place in K-12 schools. If you have witnessed or been the victim of a suspected hate crime or bias incident, you can submit information here.
Reporters at Education Week and other media organizations will review and verify submissions, but will not share your name and contact information with anyone not involved in the Documenting Hate project. Incidents you report will become part of a national database that Education Week reporters and journalists from other partner media organizations may use in the course of reporting on hate crimes and bias incidents.
And in the meantime, here are some links to articles on what teachers can do when these incidents occur:
- A Primer on Helping Immigrant Students Feel Welcome in School
- Bullying Prevention Is More Important Than Ever (Opinion)
- Teaching Foreign Language in the Age of Trump (Opinion): A teacher shares what she did when she saw that a student wrote "Speak American or GTFO" on the class chalkboard.
- How to Talk About Sexism in the Classroom (Opinion)