What can parents and educators do to prevent the spread of hate-motivated behavior?
Among the most important thing that adults can do to reduce the spread of hate-motivated behavior is to help young people learn to respect and celebrate diversity. Research shows that children between the ages of 5 and 8 begin to place value judgments on similarities and differences among people. Moreover, children's racial attitudes begin to harden by the fourth grade, making the guidance of adults during this time period particularly important. It is essential that adults talk openly and honestly with children about diversity, racism, and prejudice. In schools, teachers and administrators should engage in educational efforts to dispel myths and stereotypes about particular groups of people and whenever possible work with parents and local law enforcement authorities so that such an effort is supported on many fronts.