Reporting and Investigating Hate Crimes or Bias Offenses on Campus | Policies

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Reporting and Investigating Hate Crimes or Bias Offenses on Campus

Policy regarding reporting and Investigating Hate Crimes or Bias Offenses on Campus

Owner: Public Safety

Reporting and Investigating Hate Crimes or Bias Offenses on Campus 


  1. Introduction                                                               

Bias crimes, also known as hate crimes, are criminal activities motivated by the perpetrator’s bias toward certain actual or perceived personal characteristics of the victim. Teachers College policy and federal and state law prohibit crimes motivated by bias on the basis of race, color, creed, sex or gender, gender identity or expression, age, ancestry, national origin, caste, religious belief or practice, disability, sexual orientation, pregnancy, military status or political persuasion.  The College is required to report all Hate Crimes to the NYPD and annually on the statistical incidence of bias crimes on or around campus as part of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crimes Statistics Act (the ”Clery Act”).  The College will separately and clearly post on its website the hate crime data from its most recently published Annual Security Report.

Not all expressions of hate or group bias rise to the level of hate crime as defined in state and federal statutes.  Derogatory words or epithets directed against an individual because they are a member of a particular group are not considered hate crimes if not accompanied by a threat of harm with the ability to carry it out. Such hate-related incidents may, however, violate TC standards and norms. This is inclusive of the Student Conduct Code: Academic Integrity and General Misconduct policy.

Additionally, Teachers College is firmly committed to educating students, faculty, and staff about preventing all expressions of bias and hate through impactful trainings, seminars, discussion groups, and presentations. By fostering open discussions and encouraging our TC community to promptly report such incidents, we can enhance our ability to effectively prevent them and to encourage community interactions consistent with our mission and standards. 

Note: Tracking and analyzing hate incidents provides the needed information for the community to identify potential threats and assess the level of tension in their community. Please report incidents to the Office of Public Safety or to a campus official or the NYPD.


  1.       Federal Law

The Clery Act defines hate crimes as any of the crimes otherwise reportable under the Clery Act or any bodily injury to any person in which the victim is intentionally selected because of the actual or perceived race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or disability of the victim.

  1.     New York State Law

New York State Education Law Sections 6433, 6434, and 6435 require the reporting and investigation of certain bias and hate crimes as well as specific disclosure and training to help prevent such crimes. The college shall notify the NYPD as soon as practicable, but in no case more than twenty-four hours after a report of a hate crime.

New York Penal Law Section 485.05 specifies that a person commits a hate crime when he or she commits a specified offense and either intentionally selects the person against whom the offense is committed or intended to be committed in whole or in substantial part because of a belief or perception regarding the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation of the person, regardless of whether the perception or belief is correct, or intentionally commits the act or acts constituting the offense in whole or in substantial part because of a belief or perception with respect to the categories enumerated above. The specified offenses applicable under this legislation are spelled out in New York Penal Law Section 485.05 section three. 

For purposes of this policy, New York Penal Law Section 485.05 section four defines the following:

(a) the term "age" means sixty years old or more;

(b) the term "disability" means a physical or mental impairment that

substantially limits a major life activity;

(c) the term "gender identity or expression" means a person's actual

or perceived gender-related identity, appearance, behavior, expression,

or other gender-related characteristics regardless of the sex assigned to

that person at birth, including, but not limited to, the status of being

Transgender. or any attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing offenses.

When a person is convicted of a hate crime where the specified offense is a violent felony offense, the hate crime shall be deemed a violent felony offense.  When a person is convicted of a hate crime where the specified offense is a misdemeanor or a class C, D, or E felony, the hate crime shall be deemed to be one category higher than the specified offense the defendant committed or one category higher than the offense level applicable to the defendant’s conviction for an attempt or conspiracy to commit a specified offense, whichever is applicable.

  1.     Policy and Procedure

Any Teachers College community member who believes they may have been the victim of a hate crime or may have witnessed a hate crime should contact the Teachers College Office of Public Safety or NYPD via 911. The Office of Public Safety is located at Whittier 1A, or by calling Public Safety at extension 3333 or (212) 678-3333. They may also contact the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force at 1-888-440-HATE. E-Mail:

When the Office of Public Safety receives a report of a hate crime, the NYPD will be notified and will Initiate an Investigation. Teachers College has a Memorandum of Understanding with the NYPD to Investigate any hate crime or all felony crimes on campus.  Public Safety may also conduct an investigation and refer the matter to the appropriate College administrator or supervisor for Student Conduct or other action.

There are times when an individual may believe that they have been a victim of or witnessed an act of biased activity, but there has been no apparent crime committed.  In those incidents, victims or witnesses may contact the Office of Public Safety or may choose one of the other resources listed below.

The Ombuds Office offers confidential and neutral complaint handling. The Ombuds Office helps callers assess options and makes referrals to appropriate College resources. It is an independent resource for conflict resolution. It serves all members of the Teachers College community—students, faculty, and employees. 

Hate Crimes are against New York law and are violations of the College’s anti-discrimination policy. Concerning the law and the penalties of the law, please refer to New York State Senate Legislation Section 485.05 Hate Crimes for more information.  

  1.        Educating our Community

In accordance with Section 6436 of the New York State Education Law, and in order to inform the Teachers College Community about bias-related and hate crime prevention and reporting procedures, the College utilizes a series of methods to educate our community, including during the onboarding of all new students and employees via new student and new employee orientations. Information is included in the consumer affairs information distribution and on the Office for Diversity and Community Affairs webpage. Information includes bias and hate crime awareness, safety resources, reporting procedures, and crime prevention. 

       6.        Reporting 

Under the Campus Security Act, a hate crime is a crime that is committed because of the victim’s race, religion, ethnicity, disability, gender, or sexual orientation.

While Teachers College takes all bias-related conduct seriously, the Campus Security Act identifies only certain crimes as potential Hate crimes:


  • Aggravated Assault
  • Arson
  • Burglary
  • Manslaughter (negligent)
  • Murder/Non-negligent manslaughter;
  • Motor Vehicle Theft
  • Robbery
  • Sex Offenses – forcible
  • Sex Offenses -- non-Forcible
  • Larceny-theft
  • Simple assault
  • Intimidation
  • Destruction to property, damage to property, and vandalism

Reporting Hate Crimes and incidents, even those that you might not consider “serious,” is important to monitoring and stopping future incidents. By keeping detailed information on incidents, you can strengthen the case for official action. 


  • Write down exactly what happened.  Try to include as much specific detail as possible in your account.
  • Record precisely where and when the incident occurred.
  • If anyone was with you or saw what happened, record their names and phone numbers as well.  Ask them to write an account of what they witnessed and sign and date this document.
  • Record names or detailed descriptions of the perpetrators.
  • Make photocopies of hate mail or other documentation.  Keep the originals.
  • Keep a careful log of hate calls and make a tape of hate calls on your answering machine, if possible.
  • Photograph physical injuries, offensive graffiti, and evidence of vandalism.
  • Call Police (911) in an emergency and Public Safety via an on-campus phone dial 3333 or (212) 678-3333.  Give the responding officer or official complete information to ensure the incident is documented as bias-related, hate crime
  • Record the officer’s name and badge number.

Responsible Office: Public Safety

Effective Date: November 3, 2023 

Last Updated: November  3, 2023 

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