Student Handbook: Disciplinary Policies and Procedures- Hate Crimes and Bias-Related Incidents Protocol

Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech School: Pomona College Statement Rating: Yellow Last updated: December 10, 2018

Relevant excerpt

Bias-related incidents are expressions of hostility against another individual (or group) because of the other person’s (or group’s) race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender identity or expression and sexual orientation, or because the perpetrator perceives that the other person (or group) has one or more of these characteristics. Depending on the circumstances, a bias-related incident may not be a crime, and may be protected speech. The conduct underlying some bias-related incidents may violate the College’s policies, including provisions of the Student Code and the Harassment and Discrimination Policy.

Free Speech requirements protect many forms of “hateful” and intolerant speech and expressive conduct, including that which occurs during such common College activities as debates, speeches, arguments, conversations, classroom discussions, lectures, distribution of flyers and displaying of posters. In certain contexts, courts have found speech and expressive conduct to be protected that many in our community would find repugnant, including such things as display of the confederate flag, nazi symbols, cross burning, and flag burning. Such speech and expressive conduct, however, may be inconsistent with the College’s community values and it may present an opportunity for open dialogue, debate and better understanding othe [sic] scope of protected speech and the role of tolerance in a community.

These guidelines do not alter any College policies – such as the Student Code and Harassment and Discrimination Policy – and are designed to address incidents that violate such policies as well as those which do not. It envisions instances of protected (but hateful or intolerant) speech that may generate harm requiring intervention without discipline. Bias-related incidents need to be addressed because they harm individuals, undermine civility and understanding in the Pomona community, or impede the educational process. Public discussion and education can promote awareness of prejudice and examination of the values that underlie the Pomona community.

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