Hate crime hotline launched in Maryland

WASHINGTON — Maryland’s attorney general has established a hotline for reporting hate crimes: 866-481-8361.

The announcement follows a national spike in such crimes as vandalized churches and homes.

In a statement, Brian Frosh said that conduct motivated by such factors as a victim’s race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation and disability is already illegal. “I am committed to working with local law enforcement, state and county governments, our local school systems, higher education systems and communities to enforce these laws,” he said.

Frosh added that students who bully, harass or intimidate “could be subject to disciplinary action under the student code of conduct for the local school system, college or university.”

“Discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace, as well as cyberbullying and intimidation online, are also prohibited by state law,” he said, urging victims of these acts to contact law enforcement, the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights, or a local human rights agency.

Complaints of student harassment or bullying should be made directly to school officials, Frosh said.

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