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Latest FBI Report Reveals 10% of Reported Hate Crimes Occurred at Schools or College Campuses in 2022

Latest FBI Report Reveals 10% of Reported Hate Crimes Occurred at Schools or College Campuses in 2022
Credits: CBS News

In 2022, 10% of reported hate crimes occurred at schools or college campuses, as revealed by a recent FBI report. This establishes educational institutions as the third most common setting for hate-motivated acts.

The FBI examined data from 2018 to 2022, concluding that over 30% of juvenile victims of hate crimes were targeted at school, predominantly at elementary and secondary levels.

Anti-Black sentiments were identified as the primary motivation for hate crimes in these settings. The dynamics of hate crimes at academic institutions experienced fluctuations in the years analyzed.

Latest FBI Report Reveals 10% of Reported Hate Crimes Occurred at Schools or College Campuses in 2022

FBI says one in 10 US hate crimes occur at schools (Credits: Reuters)

In 2018, 8.2% of reported hate crimes occurred at such institutions, dropping to 3.9% in 2020, likely influenced by the transition to widespread remote learning during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, by 2022, the percentage rose to 10%, signifying a resurgence of hate-motivated incidents on school grounds.

Over five years, more than 5,000 juveniles were classified as victims of reported hate crimes, with over 1,700 experiencing bias-motivated offenses at school.

The most prevalent bias type reported from 2018 to 2022 was Anti-Black, accounting for 1,690 offenses, followed by Anti-Jewish (745 offenses), and Anti-LGBT (Mixed Group) (342 offenses).

Intimidation and destruction or vandalism offenses were the most commonly reported by victims at school, totaling 1,623 and 1,543 incidents, respectively. Simple assault crimes, numbering over 800, were also reported during this period.

The FBI’s report underscores the necessity of analyzing commonalities in reported hate crime offenses at schools to formulate strategies for mitigation and prevention.

A senior FBI official stated that the report’s goal was to draw attention to hate crime data within schools, with the intent of making the information accessible to local communities and encouraging officials to take proactive measures.

Notably, the FBI’s report does not include data from 2023, a year marked by increased tensions on college campuses following the October 7, 2023, Hamas attack on Israel and subsequent strikes against the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Senior FBI officials mentioned needing a separate analysis to address 2023 data.

A recent report by the Anti-Defamation League highlighted that 73% of surveyed Jewish college students experienced or witnessed some form of antisemitism since the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year. The number of Jewish students feeling “very” or “extremely” physically safe has dropped by double digits since the Hamas attacks.

Federal officials continue to issue warnings regarding increased hate-motivated attacks throughout the U.S. In the previous year, Attorney General Merrick Garland and other officials held meetings with leaders from various communities, including Jewish, Muslim, Arab, Sikh, South Asian, and Hindu, along with law enforcement officials, to address the heightened threat landscape.

The Justice Department initiated a federal hate crimes investigation into the October stabbing attack in a Chicago suburb, resulting in the death of 6-year-old Palestinian boy Wadea Al-Fayoume and injuring his mother.

The authorities arrested and charged the victims’ landlord, alleging that the attack was motivated by anti-Muslim hate. Additionally, federal investigators in Vermont are looking into the shooting of three Palestinian college students in November.

Hate crime statistics released by the FBI last year indicated a significant rise, with reported incidents reaching 11,634 in 2022, marking the highest number recorded since the FBI began tracking data in 1991. This represented a 0.5% increase compared to 2021.

The escalating numbers underscore the urgent need for comprehensive strategies to address and prevent hate crimes within educational institutions and beyond.

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