Montgomery Bias Incidents Decreased in 2018, State Report Says

Montgomery Bias Incidents Decreased in 2018, State Report Says

County reports still among highest totals in state

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Via Maryland State Police

The number of bias incidents in Montgomery County dropped about 25% last year, according to a new report from state police and the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center.

In Montgomery County, there were 76 reported bias incidents in 2018, down from 101 the previous year. Only seven of the reports were “verified” to have happened by police and 62 were “inconclusive,” according to the report. Seven were considered unfounded.

Statewide, there were 375 reports of bias incidents, 80 of which occurred at an elementary, middle or high school. Most incidents are related to race, religion or sexual orientation.

The report does not indicate where each county’s reported bias incidents occurred.

2019-10-09 12_59_02-25Sept Hate Bias.pub
This chart shows a breakdown of the 76 bias incidents reported in Montgomery County. Incidents in which an individual was targeted are included. Incidents in which a group was targeted are not.

Historically, many of Montgomery County’s reports happened at schools. Last year, 28% of all bias incidents happened in or near a school facility, according to a report released by county police early this year.

Montgomery County Public Schools has taken an active approach in recent years to combat bias based on religion, race or sexual orientation.

MCPS has an “Equity Initiatives Unit” in its Office of School Support and Improvement that aims to advance “cultural proficiency by interrupting systems of bias … oppression and inequity” in school district policies and procedures. In June, the school district hired Monifa McKnight as a new deputy superintendent to focus on equity initiatives.

MCPS spokespeople did not respond to requests for comment.

The majority of bias reports statewide were allegedly committed by white men, according to the report. Most victims were black or white.

Of the state’s 375 reports, 257 were related to the victim’s race, 72 were related to their religion and 37 were related to their sexual orientation, according to the report.

There were 11 verified reports that involved KKK propaganda materials or graffiti.

Montgomery County tied for the second-highest total of reported hate bias incidents in 2018 with Baltimore County. Anne Arundel County had the most reports, with 78.

Montgomery County is the most populous county in Maryland with more than 1 million residents.

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdamagazine.com

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