Report breaks down hate crimes in Montgomery County schools

WASHINGTON — A newly released report out of Montgomery County shows that nearly half of hate-based vandalism reported last year happened at school.

The annual report shows of the 94 hate crimes that year, 38 were religious in nature, while race was the factor in 34, ethnicity in 12, sexual orientation in six and gender in four.

Concerning educators and parents, the incidence of hate crimes rose by more than 42 percent in the county last year, with 21 incidents occurring at schools and colleges. Eleven of the targets were high schools, two at middle schools, six at elementary schools and two incidents at Montgomery College, the report said.

In-class projects like the video below titled “The Lie” — made by a fourth-grade Gaithersburg, Maryland, teacher and her students — are among efforts to promote inclusion. The annual bias report released this week shows a spike in religious and racially based hate crimes at school buildings around the election in November and December 2016.

The Lie from Untitled Productions on Vimeo.

“Thirty-four percent of the incidents reported in 2016 occurred in November and December, following a political season that seemed to embolden people in the way they expressed themselves, and prompted the Maryland attorney general to set up a hotline in mid-November for people to report bias crimes,” the report said.

The report finds 45 percent of the vandalism incidents in the county happened at schools, “frequently involving the drawing of swastikas,” it said. The report found seven of the victims involved in the 94 hate crimes reported to county police in 2016 were under the age of 18.

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