Community Relations Service
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE COMMUNITY RELATIONS SERVICE (CRS)
| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 9, 2003
WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, the Community Relations Service (CRS), a component of the U.S. Department of Justice, announced that the Davis, California, Board of Education approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on partnership protocols between the Davis Police Department and the Davis Joint Unified School District for handling bias-related incidents and hate crimes on school campuses.
"The agreement on bias incidents and hate crimes recognizes that schools often expose young citizens to different cultures and family backgrounds. It is there that they learn basic democratic values, such as their individual rights as citizens and the importance of respecting their fellow students, regardless of race, color, national origin, and other differences," said CRS Director Sharee M. Freeman.
The City of Davis and the Davis Joint Unified School District invited CRS to provide mediation assistance in developing the memorandum of understanding following the January 2003 arrest of a minor for committing a hate crime. While the protocols primarily concern responses to bias and hate incidents, the greater goal is to reduce the number of hate crimes and bias incidents and to foster safe communities through cultural awareness and hate crime prevention.
While bias-related incidents often appear to be minor in nature, they can quickly escalate into broader public safety problems. Such incidents and crimes are incompatible in any school or community environment. They have the potential to quickly disrupt the educational environment, hurt the emotional well-being of children, and compromise campus security.
The protocols contained in this agreement provide a framework for quickly addressing incidents as soon as they are reported. They formalize the practices and partnerships of the Davis Joint Unified School District and the Davis Police Department that have been informally used in the past. The protocols also identify training and services for increasing knowledge and awareness of prevention and intervention techniques to address hate crimes and bias-motivated incidents.
Information about the Community Relations Service, a conflict resolution and prevention component of the U.S. Department of Justice, and best practices for responding to hate crimes and racial conflict, can be found at www.usdoj.gov/crs.