BOSTON (AP) — A task force charged with reducing hate crimes in Massachusetts has released a set of recommendations aimed at helping schools address the problem.
The recently released recommendations from the Governor's Task Force on Hate Crimes include encouraging schools to use educational programs that promote awareness, understanding, and acceptance of all people — including inviting people from a variety of backgrounds to visit classrooms to share their cultures and religions.
The recommendations also include talking with parents about the importance of recognizing and reporting hate crimes or other incidents based on bias and strengthening the relationships between schools and local police departments.
Republican Gov. Charlie Baker said the work of confronting and preventing hate crimes starts early and schools provide a good environment to educate children on respectful behavior.
"These recommendations reflect our shared commitment to safety, inclusion and respect for people of all ages and background," Baker said in a statement.
The task force also recommended schools develop strategies for healing in the aftermath of a hate crime, update their anti-bullying policies and codes of conduct, and train staff to report hate crimes and incidents of bias in a timely manner.
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