7.7 Hate Motivated Behavior

Hate Motivated Behavior

(SFUSD Board Policy 5145.9)

The Board policy affirms the right of every student to be protected from hate-motivated behavior. The Superintendent shall promote harmonious relationships that enable students to gain a true understanding of the civil rights and social responsibilities of people in our society.  Behavior or statements that degrade an individual on the basis of their race, ethnicity, culture, heritage, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, physical/mental attributes or religious beliefs or practices shall not be tolerated and may be considered hate-motivated speech or hate-motivated behavior. This policy extends to the San Francisco County Office of Education, including community school programs and activities.

A “hate-motivated comment” or “bias incident” is biased conduct, speech, or expression that has an impact, but does not involve a criminal action (described above).

“Hate crimes should be reported by administrators to law enforcement. Hate crimes (vandalism, physical assault, arson, etc.) are crimes which are motivated, in whole or in part, by bias, by the targeted individual or group's characteristics or perceived characteristics of disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or association with a person or group who has one of these characteristics.  

i. Reporting 

Any student who feels that they are a victim of "hate-motivated" behavior shall immediately contact the principal or any trusted staff member the student has a relationship with.  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 (SFUSD Board Policy 1312.3).

Staff who receive notice of hate-motivated behavior or personally observe such behavior shall notify the principal, Superintendent or designee, and law enforcement, as appropriate. 

ii. Complaint procedure & investigation

 When a staff member first hears "hate speech" or "bias speech," they should immediately interrupt, address, and admonish the student making such comments. The staff member should do an initial inquiry with the victim-student to determine if a full investigation is needed.  Included in that initial inquiry should be questions regarding the harm that the student has suffered, frequency and persistence of the behavior, and the history between the students. If the administrator determines that a full investigation is needed, the administrator shall conduct a thorough and equitable investigation into the allegations and inform the student/family regarding the status of that investigation.

A student who has been found to have demonstrated hate-motivated behavior shall be subject to discipline in accordance with law, Board policy, and administrative regulation.

iii. Training

As necessary, the district shall provide counseling and appropriate sensitivity training and diversity education for students exhibiting hate-motivated behavior.  The district shall also provide counseling, guidance and support, as necessary, to those students who are the victims of hate-motivated behavior.

The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that staff receive training on recognizing hate-motivated behavior and on strategies to help respond appropriately to such behavior.

At the beginning of each school year, students and staff shall receive a copy of the district's Administrative Regulation on hate-motivated behavior in the Student and Parent Handbook.  The district shall provide age-appropriate instruction to help promote an understanding of and respect for human rights, diversity, and tolerance in a multicultural society and to provide strategies to manage conflicts constructively.