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POLL: Should Schools Teach Hate Crime Prevention?

Take our poll and tell us: should schools offer classes on hate crime prevention?

Chicago police recently charged three teens with perpetrating a hate crime in a Dec. 23 incident.

Merritt said Matthew Herrmann, 18, of Alsip and two other teens forced him to wear a noose and threatened his life, according to police.

officials are reportedly still looking into the matter.

According to police, the three teens acted as a pack, but could one of them had had second thoughts? Could one of them had told the other two what they were doing was wrong? What can communities do to make sure kids know about the seriousness of hate crimes and how to help prevent them?

Should schools offer classes on hate crime prevention? Take our poll, then let us know your opinion in the comments section.

DJ Morgan January 26, 2012 at 02:40 PM
It truly is something that should be taught in the home, but as a society we need to take every opportunity to make sure that children are exposed to positive learning experiences. Which some children will unfortunately not get in their home environments.
Donkor Makini January 26, 2012 at 03:11 PM
My Dear Sweet Friends, We are most pleased to see these voting results. For us this represent the over all desire of the public to institute Love in its educational procedures. After all, Love is the most effective teaching tool there is! "Love Answers Love"!
Amy Kupcake Litviak January 26, 2012 at 04:11 PM
i think it's actually both's responsibility. Have your kids sit down and watch Glee. show them there are tons of different types of people in the world. and as far as teachers, well they are there to teach, why cant they teach tolerance and acceptance as well as math and reading?
Jason Akai January 26, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Honestly, I know too many parents. Some of them will surely teach the kids the best methods to perform hate crimes. We parents are not so perfect. Teachers have a better chance at teaching a unified message.
Michael Giliberto January 26, 2012 at 04:40 PM
This has nothing to do with tolerance or acceptance and everything to do with being a decent human being.
DK January 26, 2012 at 05:02 PM
If we took the time during the school day to teach every thing that was possible to do wrong in life, the students would not have enough time left to learn how to read. I would like the schools to concentrate on learning, and promoting positive messages, that is the only path that can be effective. There is a greater chance that the kids that did this would not have done this, had they been taught the value of life and compassion for others, had they been taught respect for others and themselves, had they been taught the value of education, and the effect that it will have on their own future, had they been taught that they WILL be punished for their actions (Not that they can get away with anything if they are a minor), had they been taught and shown that character matters (Not that their "feelings" are all that matters), they may have learned to have respect for themselves, and when that occurs, this type of thing will be greatly reduced, if not eliminated, and if not eliminated, SEVERELY punished. People that are so far removed from what society expects of them, to the point that they would not only contemplate an action such as what occurred in this situation, let alone carry it out, will be the absolutely last people to listen to a "school administrator" tell them that it would be wrong to do. Thank goodness Joshua Merritt survived this horrific situation, I feel for him and his family and am sad that this type of situation can still occur in this day and age.
Darnell January 26, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Great,,,just what we need, MORE indoctrination in schools. Teach them how to read, write, add and subtract and balance a checkbook! Kids are graduating and haven't even grasped the fundamentals of the three R's. You want tolerance and morals taught people? Start going back to church and seek religious education. Those are GOOD ways to learn those two lessons. Obviously the people that voted yes don't want the burden or responsibility of that portion of child raising. Typical in today's society,,,let someone else show them how!!
SouthSide January 26, 2012 at 07:11 PM
I vote Yes only because too often parents are don't give a hoot how their children behave. The Brother Rice incident is a perfect example of it. The suspects' parents obviously teach hate in the home.
JM of NL January 26, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Let's put this in perspective. Hate crimes are a very very small percentage of the crimes committed against minority groups. The daily atrocities committed against minorities are committed by minorities. How can painting a swastika on a garage or beating someone up because of their race compare to someone mowing down a group of teenagers standing in front of a home and everyone in it with a machine gun. That's what I see everyday on the news. But as a society, we would rather focus on seldom committed hate crimes than the daily loss of life that we see every night on the news. It doesn't make sense. I rather my kid learn more Math and Science so we can rank better on an international level. Now that's a problem worth spending time on.
Darnell January 26, 2012 at 08:12 PM
This borrowed quote say's it all! "If they embark on this course the difference between the old and the new education will be an important one. Where the old initiated, the new merely 'conditions'. The old dealt with its pupils as grown birds deal with young birds when they teach them to fly; the new deals with them more as the poultry-keeper deals with young birds- making them thus or thus for purposes of which the birds know nothing. In a word, the old was a kind of propagation-men transmitting manhood to men; the new is merely propaganda." - C.S. Lewis
DLC DAVE January 26, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Kids only act like their parents do ,why teach them something your not going to do .
Patty S January 26, 2012 at 08:34 PM
I think this should actually be taught at home. It is a parents responsibility to teach kids the basic, right vs. Wrong. Schools are burdoned for the things kids should have learned in the home. It seems easier to blame the system for actions from kids ill behavior. A noose, really, this is OK to do ?? (This is my opinion)
Valerie C January 26, 2012 at 09:48 PM
I think that the only way that alot of children will be taught is at school. Most kids that act that way are only following the things that they see and hear at home.
Kathy Nielsen January 27, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Kudos to you David! I totally agree with you.
oaklawnperson January 27, 2012 at 12:52 AM
"You want tolerance and morals taught people? Start going back to church and seek religious education." You realize that two of the alleged perpetrators either attend or graduated from a Catholic school, right?
Sue1 January 27, 2012 at 04:36 AM
I agree!
D Greg January 27, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Bad kids. Teenagers can tell right from wrong - it's the kids' fault - not their parents and certainly not the schools.
BunnyM January 27, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Most definitely "intolerance" should be taught in school. This is not a perfect society where children are programmed at birth to except "other's they deem imperfect: whether it be a handicap or nationality issue. The school is the perfect place to bring about a closer understanding. It's excepted for them have music and art classes but the art of being a tolerant human being is not being instilled in all. Maybe if some of you had a handicap brother as I did that was brutally shot to death only because he couldn't communicate you'd think twice. I couldn't think of a better class to teach other than "intolerance".
Darnell February 06, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Yes I am aware they went to Catholic Schools,,,,but those lessons are instilled at home first with parental morals,,,then added faith based lessons. You can go to a catholic school all you want but if you are not taught by your parents it's a moot point!
db February 23, 2012 at 03:06 PM
In a 'perfect' world, we would not need this type of tolerance education. However, since we live in the 'real' world, reinforcement of good values is never wasted. DB

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