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New FBI report finds 10% of reported hate crimes occurred at schools or college campuses in 2022

Washington — Ten percent of all reported hate crimes that occurred in 2022 happened at a school or on a college campus, according to a newly released report by the FBI, making centers of learning the third most common location where hate-motivated acts took place.

Over 30% of juvenile victims of hate crimes targeted at school

The FBI examined reports of bias-motivated hate crimes at academic institutions throughout the U.S. between 2018 and 2022 — based on data collected from local, state and federal law enforcement — and found more than 30% of all juvenile victims were targeted at school. Hate crimes that occurred at schools most frequently occurred at elementary and secondary schools, the report found, and were most commonly motivated by anti-Black hate. 

In 2018, 8.2% of all reported hate crimes occurred at academic institutions, a number that dropped to just 3.9% in 2020 — likely an outcome of widespread remote learning during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. By 2022, 10% of all reported hate crimes happened at schools or on campuses. 

Over 5,000 juveniles were classified as victims of reported hate crimes in the five-year period studied by the FBI and more than 1,700 of those students experienced the reported bias-motivated offense at a school location. 

Most common bias type of reported hate crime offenses reported in 2018-2022 were Anti-Black

"The most common bias type of reported hate crime offenses at schools was Anti-Black or African American, with 1,690 reported hate crime offenses involving this bias type during the observed five years, followed by Anti-Jewish (745 offenses), and AntiLesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender (Mixed Group) (342 offenses)," the report found. 

Victims of hate crimes at school most commonly reported intimidation and destruction or vandalism offenses — amounting to 1,623 and 1,543 incidents respectively — followed by simple assault crimes, of which over 800 were reported between 2018 and 2022. 

"Analyzing commonalities of reported hate crime offenses in schools can facilitate strategies to mitigate or prevent these offenses in the future," according to the FBI's report. 

According to a senior FBI official, the goal of the new report was intended to draw the attention of school officials and local law enforcement to hate crime data and the number of incidents that occur in schools. The FBI is making the report available to  local communities and encouraging officials to take action, the senior FBI official said.  

FBI report doesn't include 2023 data

The FBI's publication did not include 2023 data, a year that saw increased tensions on college campuses after Hamas' Oct. 7, 2023, attack on Israel and Israel's subsequent strikes against the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. 

Senior FBI officials said Monday a separate analysis of data would be needed to address 2023 data. 

A recent report by the Anti-Defamation League found that 73% of surveyed Jewish college students have experienced or witnessed some form of antisemitism since the start of the 2023-2024 school year, and the number of Jewish students who feel "very" or "extremely" physically safe has dropped by double digits since the Hamas attacks. 

Federal officials continue to warn of increased hate-motivated attacks throughout the U.S. Last year, Attorney General Merrick Garland and other officials convened meetings with leaders of Jewish, Muslim, Arab, Sikh, South Asian and Hindu communities, along with law enforcement officials, to discuss the increased threat landscape across the U.S. 

The Justice Department opened a federal hate crimes investigation into the October stabbing attack in a Chicago suburb that resulted in the death of which killed Wadea Al-Fayoume, a 6-year-old Palestinian boy, and wounded his mother. Authorities arrested and charged the victims' landlord, allegingsaying the attack was motivated by anti-Muslim hate. Federal investigators in Vermont are also investigating the shooting of three Palestinian college students in November. 

In all, hate crime statistics released by the FBI last year showed that reported incidents in 2022 rose to 11,634 incidents, the highest number recorded since the FBI started tracking data in 1991, marking a 0.5% increase compared with 2021. 

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