Bias Offense and Incident Reporting Policy

Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech School: University of Mary Washington Statement Rating: Yellow Last updated: November 29, 2017

Relevant excerpt

Bias Offense: A bias offense is any act that is based on actual or perceived race, color, religion, disability, national origin, political affiliation, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, veteran status, or age that creates an intimidating and/or hostile educational , living, or working environment by unreasonably and substantially interfering with an individual’s or group’s safety, security, work, or academic performance. Acts include language and/or behaviors. An intimidating and/or hostile environment is one that reasonably results from severe or pervasive bias related conduct.

What is meant by bias incident?

Bias incidents involve any behavior that a person finds harmful or hurtful and reasonably believes is directed at him or her or others simply because of one’s race, color, religion, disability, national origin, political affiliation, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, veteran status, or age.

What is the difference between a bias incident and a bias offense under this policy?

Bias incident is the broadest category of bias-related behavior that includes bias offenses, as defined earlier in this policy, hate crimes, and lesser incidents that are motivated by bias (see definition of hate crime below). A bias incident may involve protected speech.

This definition is used for reporting and statistical purposes only. It carries no independent sanctioning weight or authority.

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