There have been racial hate crimes on my college campus and I fear being targetted. How do I protect myself and report this?

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Question:

Racial hate crimes continue to occur on my campus and I’m worried I might be targeted next. What can I do to protect myself? I am one of the few African-Americans living in an otherwise all-white dorm in Georgia.

Answer:

You should first check to see if your college offers students the opportunity to confidentially meet with a school-provided attorney (or law student working through a law school clinic, under the supervision of a licensed lawyer). If so, start there and see if you can obtain help evaluating your current risks and concerns.

If your school does not have an affiliated law school, visit with a school guidance counselor for advice on seeking outside legal help. Be sure to specifically name any acts or threats that have heightened your concerns. Your best bet might be to seek out the help of a qualified civil rights attorney, before something serious happens to you. You might also want to visit with your school’s housing office, if moving might calm your fears.

Don’t be afraid to pursue your concerns. After all, the FBI’s Civil Rights Program considers hate crimes its number two work priority.

This article is provided for informational purposes only. If you need legal advice or representation,
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