The push to ban hate symbols in schools


MARYLAND – Lawmakers are pushing for legislation that would ban hate symbols in public schools. Some districts already have policies, but this would ensure that across the state, every district has one.

Lawmakers say over the past few years, racial injustices have been brought to the forefront and that’s why legislation like this is needed. Hate symbols are most commonly used by hate groups, so really any symbol that is associated with those groups would be off limits to use in public schools.

House Bill 418 would require each county board of education to establish a policy prohibiting the use or display of hate symbols like swastikas and the confederate flag. This stems from the Baltimore Jewish Council’s push to protect Marylanders from hate crimes, and symbols of hatred.

Hate symbols would be prohibited from being on clothing, book bags, folders or similar items. These symbols can be used as an example in a course of study, but schools would be in charge of creating policies to accurately address and prohibit them. So far, the bill has seen bi-partisan support.

State Delegate Wayne Hartman voted in favor of the bill and says, “It’s unfortunate that we even have to consider legislation like this. It’s such a young age to even be thinking of using a symbol, a swatsika or something to that affect it’s unfortunate but I certainly supported the legislation.” Del. Hartman also says, anything to eliminate this type of hatred in school is important especially during these times.

If this bill passes, board of educations would be required to create consequences for violations for all school employees and students. The bill was voted out of the House and is now in the Senate in Committee for further review.

If you want to learn more about types of hate symbols, you can visit this website for more information.

Categories: Local News, Local Politics, Maryland