Monday, June 24

Hate Crimes Reported in Schools Nearly Doubled Between 2018 and 2022

The number of reported hate crimes in schools and colleges nearly doubled between 2018 and 2022, according to data released Monday by the F.B.I.

About 1,300 hate crimes were reported in elementary schools, secondary schools and colleges in 2022, up from 700 in 2018 — an increase of about 90 percent, according to the report, the first on the subject to be issued by the federal government.

Black Americans were the most frequent victims, with a total of 1,690 hate crime offenses against them reported over the five-year period, followed by L.G.B.T.Q. people with 900 offenses; Jewish Americans were third, with 745 reported offenses.

The statistics count crimes against students or others inside school buildings and on campuses.

Though F.B.I. officials did not offer an explanation for the rising numbers, the nation’s education system experienced a high degree of politicization during the period covered by the report.

Following the murder of George Floyd in 2020, a national movement called attention to racism in every facet of American life, including schools, which could have led to an increase in reporting. There was also a powerful backlash to that movement, which might have motivated some hate crimes.

The period covered by the new data ends in 2022; still, it is of great interest to many educators and policymakers who are looking at how the Israel-Gaza war has roiled the nation’s school systems. Since the conflict began in October 2023, there have been widespread reports of increased bias incidents in schools against Jewish, Arab and Muslim students. Organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish group, have called for action from policymakers.

The new report lists a total of 71 anti-Islamic and 32 anti-Arab hate crimes occurring in schools between 2018 and 2022. There are fewer American Muslims than American Jews.

Overall, many crime experts believe that hate crimes are underreported by victims. And in recent years, some local police departments have not reported their own hate crime data to the F.B.I., making it likely that the national figures are undercounts even of reported hate crimes.

According to the new report, the most frequent type of reported hate crime in schools was intimidation, which the federal government defines as unlawfully causing another individual to fear bodily harm, through the use of threatening words or other actions. Nearly as common was vandalism or destruction of property, which can include graffiti using symbols or words of hate. The third-most common offense was simple assault, which is a physical attack without a weapon, and in which the victim does not suffer severe injury.

In 2022, at least a third of the nation’s historically Black colleges received bomb threats, according to the F.B.I.

More hate crimes were reported in elementary and secondary schools than in colleges and universities, according to the F.B.I. report. The number of reported offenses dipped in 2020, during the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic when most schools shut down, and then rose significantly after that, exceeding prepandemic numbers by 2022.

Even so, children and young adults were more likely to experience hate crimes outside of school than at schools and colleges, according to the federal data.

The 90-percent rise in school-based hate crimes appeared to outpace the overall rise in hate crimes nationally over the same period. A total of about 13,300 hate crimes were reported in 2022, up from 8,500 in 2018, an increase of about 60 percent.

Outside of schools, the most commonly victimized groups were the same as in schools: Black Americans, L.G.B.T.Q. people and Jewish Americans.