Do you think you may have been a victim of a hate crime or that you experienced bias-based conduct at your school?
A hate crime is a traditional crime that is motivated by the offender’s bias toward the victim because the victim is a member of a protected group.
Bias-based behavior is when someone treats a student differently because of their membership in a protected group.
Under the BPS Non-Discrimination policy (inline link to circular), protected groups include race, color, age, disability, sex/gender, gender identity, religion, national origin, ancestry, retaliation, sexual orientation, genetics, military status, and homelessness.
Only law enforcement can determine that something is a hate crime. If you believe a hate crime may have been committed, you should contact the police. If you think there has been any sort of bias-based conduct at your school or on your way to or from school, you can file a report with the BPS Office of Equity.
Any form of communication or physical action that creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment will not be tolerated.
What are some examples of bias-based behavior?
- Using a slur or insult towards a student or their family based on their membership in a protected group
- Telling rude jokes that mock a protected group in person, over the phone, or using the internet
- Not allowing students to participate in an activity because of their membership in a protected group
- Disciplining a student more often or more harshly because of their membership in a protected group
- Taking pictures of a student that make fun of them for being part of a protected group
If you report bias-based conduct to your school or the Office of Equity...
- You can't be retaliated against.
- The Office of Equity will be informed even if you just go to your headmaster (but going to your headmaster first is encouraged).
- The Office of Equity may conduct an investigation and will keep the matter as confidential as possible.
Are there other ways to report an incident?
- If you are on the T, speak to the driver or call transit police at 617-222-1212.
- Contact the Massachusetts Attorney General's Hotline by phone at 1-800-994-3228, social media @MassAGO, or email using this link: File a Civil Rights Complaint.