Board Policy on Hate-Motivated Behavior

Board Policy 5145.9

San Francisco Unified School District and County Office of Education

Board Policy 5145.9

Hate-Motivated Behavior

This Board Policy applies to the San Francisco Unified School District and the County Office of Education.

The Governing Board is committed to providing a respectful, inclusive, and safe learning environment that protects students from discrimination, harassment, intimidation, bullying, and other behavior motivated by hate. Hate-motivated behavior is any behavior intended to cause emotional suffering, physical injury, or property damage through intimidation, harassment, bigoted slurs or epithets, force or threat of force, or vandalism motivated in part or in whole by bias  or hostility towards another person's real or perceived race, color, ancestry, nationality,  national origin, immigration status, ethnic group identification, ethnicity, age, religion, marital status, pregnancy, parental status, reproductive health decision making, physical or mental disability, medical condition, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, veteran or military status, or genetic information; or any other characteristic identified in Education Code 200 or 220, Government Code 11135, or Penal Code 422.55, or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. The Superintendent or designee shall design strategies to promote harmonious relationships among students, prevent incidents of hate-motivated behavior to the extent possible, and address such incidents if they occur.

The Superintendent or designee shall collaborate with regional programs and community organizations to promote safe environments for youth where diversity is celebrated and hate-motivated behavior not tolerated. Such collaborative efforts shall focus on ensuring an efficient use of District and community resources, developing effective prevention strategies and response plans, providing assistance to students affected by hate-motivated behavior, and/or educating students who have perpetrated hate-motivated acts.

The District shall provide students with age-appropriate instruction that includes the development of social-emotional learning, promotes their understanding of and respect for human rights, human relations, diversity, and acceptance in a multicultural society, explains the harm and dangers of explicit and implicit biases, discourages discriminatory attitudes and practices, and provides strategies to manage conflicts constructively.

As necessary, the District shall provide counseling, guidance, and support to students who are victims of hate-motivated behavior and to students who exhibit such behavior. When appropriate, students who engage in hate-motivated behavior shall be disciplined.

The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that the rules prohibiting hate-motivated behavior and procedures for reporting a hate-motivated incident are provided to students and parents/guardians. This policy shall be posted in a prominent location on the district's website in a manner that is readily and easily accessible to parents/guardians and students.  (Education Code 234.6)

The Superintendent or designee shall provide staff with training on recognizing and preventing hate-motivated behavior and on effectively enforcing rules for appropriate student conduct. As appropriate, the  training shall:

  1. Promotes an understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion
  2. Discourages the development of discriminatory attitudes and practices
  3. Includes social-emotional learning and nondiscriminatory instructional and counseling methods
  4. Supports the prevention, recognition, and response to hate-motivated behavior
  5. Raises the awareness and sensitivity of staff to potentially prejudicial and discriminatory behavior
  6. Includes effective enforcement of rules for appropriate student conduct

Employees who engage in hate-motivated behavior shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

Complaint Process

A student or parent/guardian who believes the student is a victim of hate-motivated behavior is strongly encouraged to report the incident to a teacher, the principal, the district's compliance officer, or other staff member.

Any staff member who is notified that hate-motivated behavior has occurred, observes such behavior, or otherwise becomes aware of an incident shall immediately contact the principal or the compliance officer responsible for coordinating the District's response to complaints and complying with state and federal civil rights laws. As appropriate, the staff member  shall also contact law enforcement.

Any student who feels that they are a victim of "hate-motivated" behavior shall immediately contact the principal or any trusted staff member with whom the student has a relationship. Reports can be made in writing or verbally and all complaints should be reported to a site administrator. If the student believes that the situation has not been remedied by the principal or designee, the student may file a complaint with the District's Office of Equity in accordance with District Uniform Complaint Procedures (Board Policy 1312.3).

If, during the investigation, it is determined that a complaint is about nondiscriminatory behavior, the principal or designee shall inform the complainant and shall take all necessary actions to resolve the complaint.

This page was last updated on March 26, 2024