US Justice Department on Actions to prevent hate
The U.S. Justice Department has issued an overview of steps that schools in the United States can do to prevent hate against Arabs, Muslims and Sikhs.
Twenty Plus Things Schools Can Do to Respond to or Prevent Hate Incidents Against Arab-Americans, Muslims, and Sikhs Take Immediate Concerted Action
• Undertake and coordinate activities according to a pre-established policy and action plan.
• Treat all anti-Arab, anti-Muslim, or anti-Sikh incidents seriously. Issue public messages urging tolerance and restraint and pledge prompt, full investigation and action.
• Report all hate incidents to the local police department.
• Institute joint initiatives and partnerships with police departments, local officials, parent groups, and community-based organizations. Consider organizing specific projects that give people constructive ways to express perspectives and concerns, such as rallies, forums, dialogues and unity events.
• Gather and disseminate accurate and current information on hate incidents and any official actions taken as a result. Conduct School Assessments
• Reach out to potentially vulnerable groups in your schools. Identify special concerns by Arab, Muslim, or Sikh staff or students. Conduct a full assessment of tensions in your school.
• Hold periodic debriefings on staff assessments of racial and ethnic tensions in and around your school.
• Hold open office hours for students to share concerns and perspectives with administrators, counselors, and other staff. Establish a Written Memorandum of Understanding with Local Police Officials
• Ensure that the school district and each school within the district have a memorandum of understanding with local law enforcement agencies in place that specifies the responsibilities and roles of school and police officials for notifying and responding to hate incidents.
• Review or revise plans and protocols with local police officials for responding to demonstrations and special events. Community Relations Service United States Department of Justice 600 E. Street, NW, Suite 6000 Washington, D.C. 20530 202.305.2935 FAX 202.305.3003 Develop and Publicize Your Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment
• Ensure that your school has a clearly defined and publicized policy statement on discrimination and harassment.
• Make periodic public statements about your school’s policy or policies against discrimination and harassment. Create and Improve Ways to Detect and Respond to Escalating Racial Tensions
• Be alert to early warning signs that may indicate an escalation of racial tensions and conflict in your school including, student groupings, graffiti, increase in interracial fighting, and conflicts over language, dress or hair styles.
• Maintain and use a checklist of “crisis indicators” tailored to your school’s own population.
• Routinely survey students, faculty, and staff about potential sources of racial tensions.
• Assume that tensions will fluctuate. Anticipate actions your school might take following a hate incident, including special assemblies and announcements, periodic reports on new developments, statements of reassurance to students and parents, or an orientation on safety precautions and evacuation plans. Conduct Training
• Make cultural awareness learning opportunities concerning Arab Americans, Muslims, and Sikhs available to staff, students, and the general community. Use the leadership of these groups to help with the training.
• Provide hate prevention training to all school staff, including teachers, administrators, school security personnel, and support staff.
• Ensure that all students receive hate prevention training through age-appropriate classroom activities, assemblies, and other school-related activities.
• Train staff on the culture, language, and customs of racial and ethnic groups. Use “ethnic experts” to help conduct the training. Use a Free Federal Resource
• Contact the Community Relations Service (CRS) at the United States Department of Justice, your free “on-call” resource to help you reduce and resolve community racial and ethnic tensions.
CRS can provide technical assistance on how to implement many of these recommendations, including how to facilitate dialogues, monitor school tensions, establish school-police agreements, and manage demonstrations and special events. See www.usdoj.gov/crs, or call (202) 305-2935.
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