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Petaluma City Schools |  AR  5145.9  Students

Hate-Motivated Behavior   

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It is the purpose of this administrative regulation to implement the district student hate-motivated behavior policy. The regulation is designed to outline the procedures that are to be followed to maintain the Board of Education's commitment to providing an educational environment free from hate-motivated behavior.

Definition of Terms

Hate-Motivated Behavior

An incident of hate-motivated behavior is any act or attempted act intended to discriminate against or to willfully injure, intimidate, interfere with, oppress or threaten by force or threat by force or threat of force, any person because of that person's real or perceived ethnicity, national origin, immigrant status, religious belief, gender, sexual orientation, age, mental or physical disability, political affiliation, or any other physical or cultural characteristic. Examples of hate-motivated behaviors include the following:

1. Posting or circulating demeaning jokes, leaflets, or caricatures

2. Defacing, removing or destroying posted material or announcements

3. Distributing or posting hate-group literature or posters

4. Using bigoted insults, epithets, taunts, or slurs

Hate Crimes

An incident of hate-motivated behavior may also be a crime pursuant to California Penal Code 422.6. Any suspected hate-motivated crime must be promptly reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency, and the District Attorney may choose to prosecute the alleged perpetrator.

Reporting and Investigation Procedures

Any student who feels that he/she is a victim of hate-motivated behavior shall immediately contact the principal or designee. Staff who receive notice of hate-motivated behavior or personally observe such behavior shall notify the principal, who will notify the Superintendent or designee, and law enforcement, as appropriate. Acts of hate-motivated behavior will be given priority attention.

1. The appropriate law enforcement agency will be notified if there is evidence indicating that a hate-motivated crime has occurred. Behaviors described in Penal Code 422.6 require mandatory reporting. Law enforcement officers may proceed with a concurrent investigation based upon California Penal Code violations.

2. Parents/guardians of the offender and victim will be immediately notified and individual conferences scheduled as appropriate.

3. The principal or his/her designee will conduct an investigation of the incident.

4. A student who has engaged in hate-motivated behavior shall be subject to discipline in accordance with Board policy and administrative regulation.

5. The administrator will submit to the Superintendent or designee a written report, including a description of the behavior and the name(s) of the students involved. Records on all incidents and actions taken will be maintained by the site principal and reported annually to the Superintendent or designee.

6. Upon verifying that an incident of hate-motivated behavior occurred, the Superintendent or designee will ensure that appropriate action is promptly taken to address the effects on the student subjected to such acts and attempt to prevent any further instances of such acts. In addition, the parent/guardian and the student will be informed that they may file a formal complaint in accordance with the uniform complaint procedures (BP 1312.3).

7. Any employee who, within the scope of his/her employment, has knowledge of, observes, or reasonably suspects acts of hate-motivated behavior, shall report the known or suspected incident to the site administrator or designee on the same day of the incident and as soon as possible. An employee who knowingly allows an act or act of hate-motivated behavior to occur and/or fails to report such acts, shall be considered to have violated district policy and will be subject to appropriate discipline.

Disciplinary Action/Follow-Up

A student found to have engaged in hate-motivated behavior may be subject to discipline up to and including expulsion. Such disciplinary action shall be in accordance with Board policy and state law. Suspension and recommendations for expulsion must follow existing practice and procedures.

A student in grades K-3 will receive appropriate discipline as deemed necessary by the school administrator in collaboration with the Superintendent or designee. A student in grades 4-12 may be suspended from school or recommended for expulsion if the Superintendent or the principal of the school in which the student is enrolled determines that the student has caused, attempted to cause threatened to cause, or participated in an act of hate violence as described in Penal Code 422.6.

The district shall provide counseling, guidance and support, as necessary, to those students who are the victims of hate-motivated behavior. The district shall provide counseling and appropriate sensitivity training and diversity education for students exhibiting hate-motivated behavior.

Curriculum and Staff Training

1. Programs that teach respect for differences and counteract biases and stereotypical perceptions will be integrated into the school curriculum e.g. Human Interaction curriculum, Social Science and Language Arts curriculum.

2. The district shall provide age-appropriate instruction to help promote understanding of and respect for human rights.

3. All district employees will participate annually in training provided by the district to recognize hate-motivated behavior and to respond to such behavior in appropriate ways.


The district's hate-motivated behavior prevention policy will be provided to every district employee and student at the beginning of the school year, and upon enrollment for new students enrolling during the school year and to new employees when the new employee is hired.


Approved: June 22, 2004 Petaluma, California