According to the FBI, schools were the third-most common location for hate offenses in 2022 behind homes and residences and then roadways. The numbers speak for themselves.
From 2018 to 2022, more than 5,600 juveniles were reported to be hate crime victims while nearly 6,000 juveniles were reported as hate crime offenders, according to the data.
The most common offense was intimidation, followed by vandalism and then simple assault.
Child psychologist Elizabeth Sather says kids are particularly prone to internalizing these incidents.
"It's much more difficult for children, because children aren't mature enough to understand that the crime that is being committed against them says more about the person committing the crime than it does about them," said Sather.
Hate crimes overall rose steadily from nearly 8,500 in 2018 to more than 13,000 in 2022.
The percentage of hate crimes occurring at schools has varied over the years, from just over 8% in 2018, dropping to nearly 4% in 2020 due to pandemic-related stay-at-home orders, and then back up to 10% in 2022. Sather says it can affect how kids see themselves.
"The most important thing for kids is fitting in — 'Am I part of the larger group? Do people like me?' And I think a crime like that, for a child, has a lot more impact because that identity isn't fully formed yet," she said.
The report looked at the reasons behind the offenses and found the most common were anti-Black or African American. That was followed by antisemitic, then anti-LGBTQ+ offenses.
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