Penn State’s Protocol for Responding to Bias-Motivated Incidents

Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech School: Pennsylvania State University – University Park Statement Rating: Green Last updated: May 4, 2017

Relevant excerpt

For purposes of this protocol, a “bias motivated incident” is any incident which may fall within one or more of the following definitions:

Harassment is a form of discrimination consisting of physical or verbal conduct that (1) is directed at an individual because of the individual’s age, ancestry, color, disability or handicap, national origin, race, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or veteran status; and (2) is sufficiently severe or pervasive so as to substantially interfere with the individual’s employment, education or access to University programs, activities and opportunities. To constitute prohibited harassment, the conduct must be such that it detrimentally affects the individual in question and would also detrimentally affect a reasonable person under the same circumstances. [Excerpt from Policy AD42: Statement on Nondiscrimination and Harassment.]

 

Harassment may include, but is not limited to, verbal or physical attacks, threats, slurs or derogatory comments that meet the definition set forth above. Whether the alleged conduct constitutes prohibited harassment depends on the totality of the particular circumstances, including the nature, frequency and duration of the conduct in question, the location and context in which it occurs and the status of the individuals involved. [Excerpt from Policy AD42: Statement on Nondiscrimination and Harassment.]

An act of intolerance refers to conduct that is in violation of a University policy, rule or regulation and is motivated by discriminatory bias against or hatred toward other individuals or groups based on characteristics such as age, ancestry, color, disability or handicap, national origin, political belief, race, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or veteran status. [Excerpt from Policy AD29: Statement on Intolerance.]

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This protocol exists to ensure an efficient, effective and appropriate response to incidents that may be characterized as bias motivated incidents involving Penn State students. The protocol should be implemented whenever a bias motivated incident is believed or perceived to have occurred. This protocol is specific to addressing bias motivated incidents targeting Penn State students. It does not cover faculty or staff. Faculty or staff who have been the targets of bias motivated incidents should contact the Affirmative Action Office for assistance.

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