Washington — Schools in the United States are not being spared from a dramatic rise in hate crimes that has swept across the country.
A new report released Monday from the Federal Bureau of Investigation finds that 10% of all hate crimes in the U.S. in 2022 took place at schools, making them the country’s third most common location for hate crimes.
Only homes (27%) and highways, roads or alleys (16%) saw more hate crime offenses.
The report found that the number of reported hate crimes at schools — from preschool through university — has risen steadily since 2020, when officials recorded 500 hate crimes at school. In 2021, the number of school-based offenses rose to 896 before hitting a high of more than 1,300 in 2022.
Those increases track with what FBI officials have described as a worrisome rise in hate crimes overall, with the latest data showing a record 11,643 incidents in 2022, surpassing the previous record of almost 11,000 incidents in 2021.
Monday’s report is the first of its kind issued by the FBI, and officials say it is not clear yet whether they will issue additional reports on school-based hate crimes in the future.
“The goal is to draw attention to the data and to the occurrences of hate crimes at schools giving possibly others the opportunity to respond,” an FBI official told reporters Monday, briefing on the condition of anonymity under ground rules established by the bureau.
“[This is] not a situation here where the bureau is looking to take immediate action on this,” the official added. “But by providing the information, we think that it enables our law enforcement partners to do so.”
The report, which looked at data from the five-year period covering 2018 to 2022, found the most common hate crime offense was intimidation, followed by vandalism and assault.
The most common hate crimes were anti-Black crimes (12.6%), followed by anti-Jewish crimes (5.6%) and anti-Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender crimes (2.6%).
Anti-Muslim hate crimes were 0.5% of the total.
The FBI report also found that hate crimes in schools were more frequent in October, November and December, with nearly a third of school-based hate crimes taking place during those months.
Overall, the report said that more than 30% of children who were victims of hate crimes over the five-year period were victimized at school. Almost 36% of juvenile hate crime offenders committed the crimes in school.
Almost two-thirds of the reported hate crimes took place in preschools, elementary schools and high schools, according to the FBI data.