IAAB’s Campus Action Network (I-CAN) launches IAAB’s #RejectHate Campaign to ensure the right to a safe education in an inclusive environment for all students.
Multiple IAAB students and alumni reported experiencing harassment and bullying at school and in public spaces in the past week. Students are at most risk of experiencing such attacks, with an increasing number of parents, teachers, and school officials reporting incidents of hate and discrimination on campuses across the country.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) reports over 400 attacks against communities of color since the 2016 US election. The number of attacks since Tuesday's election is three times higher than the weekly average, according to the SPLC.
Communities of color, religious communities, immigrant communities, and queer communities feel particularly vulnerable to attack due to a recent wave of hateful incidents reported across the United States. Students feel particularly vulnerable given the rise of attacks in schools by both classmates and teachers. No student should ever feel threatened or in danger at school, no matter their religion, ethnicity, skin color, gender identity or sexual orientation.
As part of I-CAN’s #RejectHate Campaign, IAAB provides resources and support for students and parents to take actions to ensure that the following measures are in effect.
Educators and administrators must ensure the safety and well-being of students by, including, but not limited to:
- Increasing bystander intervention by organizing all-staff meetings and trainings that focus on tangible tools to intervene during instances of hate and discrimination
- Refraining from sharing political views in a way that frightens or disempowers students
- Empowering students to think critically about power, privilege, and identity by teaching about the underlying issues in the election
- Creating a climate of inclusivity and acceptance both inside and outside the classroom so that all students feel safe and welcome in an educational environment
- Guiding a productive and reaffirming discussion that allows students to express feelings of fear, anger, or frustration
- Developing a schoolwide strategy against hate and discrimination that focuses on proactive prevention, rather than solely reactive punishment
Community members can participate by contacting their place of employment, affiliated organizations, and groups of which they are members so that such spaces:
- Ensure an inclusive and safe workplace environment and culture by holding anti-oppression trainings
- Evaluate, revise, or create policies that focus on proactive prevention of discrimination and hate
- Increase bystander intervention through trainings that focus on tangible tools to intervene during instances of hate and discrimination
IAAB provides resources for parents, students, and community members to address their concerns with school officials and educators. Resources include:
- Sample letters to send to teachers, administrators, and school officials
- Support in reporting and responding to incidents of hate, including how to navigate official reporting channels and resources available to heal from and process such incidents
- Educational resources and curriculum for educators, including materials from SPLC's 'Teaching Tolerance' initiative
- Best practices and tips on how to build and maintain a safe and inclusive environment
As part of IAAB's #RejectHate campaign, IAAB seeks to support families and individuals who have witnessed or experienced acts of hate since the election. If you have witnessed or experienced bullying or harassment, please complete IAAB's Incident Report form below. This form is not meant to replace official reporting measures. If you, or someone you know, is in danger, please contact your local law enforcement immediately. If you are the victim of a hate crime, please contact the FBI immediately to report a hate crime and receive assistance. The FBI's report on hate crimes is often cited by various organizations and media so it is imperative that it accurately reflects the current climate. Other resources include the Southern Poverty Law Center's Report Hate form, which is central to SPLC's data gathering and reports, as well as your local ACLU chapter.