Hate Comes Home is a virtual-experience interactive CD ROM, developed by ADL and WILL Interactive, Inc., that allows students to become the lead characters in a plot immersed in everyday occurrences of bias and hate-motivated behavior. The opening scene depicts a Homecoming dance no school should ever have: two students are killed in a hate crime committed by other students. How did it come to this?
Four students hold the keys to a peaceful outcome. They can let the incident happen or stop the hate before it happens. Jake, a white student who has moved from a homogenous town to an ethnically diverse school, must navigate a new world of conflicting messages. Richard, the school basketball star, must decide whether to live up to an African-American jock label, and label other people in turn, or to be himself and see others as three-dimensional people. Lina, a smart, popular Latina student who knows hate and prejudice are wrong, must come to terms with her own biases. And Tisha, three-quarters African-American and one-quarter Vietnamese, must reconcile her cultures at home and at school. Can you make the right decision to stop the hate and win the game? You decide. You choose. You save lives - or don't.
The Hate Comes Home CD-ROM and its accompanying Teacher's Discussion Guide are designed to assist high school aged youth in developing critical-thinking, decision-making and problem solving skills to prevent and respond to prejudice, discrimination, and hate motivated behavior. Hate Comes Home may be used in schools, youth groups and after-school programs. It may be used in the classroom, presented in assemblies, or given as a homework assignment. The Discussion Guide includes lesson plans that enable teachers to integrate Hate Comes Home into a variety of disciplines.
Hate Comes Home was the winner of the "Bronze World Medal" in the area of Guidance and Counseling at the 2003 New York Festivals International Interactive Awards competition.
Hate crimes are crimes committed against individuals or groups or property based on the real or perceived characteristics of the victims. State hate crime statutes vary from state to state, and may cover bias-motivated crimes based on religion, gender, sexual orientation, ability, national origin, or ethnicity of the victims. In 2002, 7,462 hate crimes - involving 9,222 victims - were reported to the FBI. Schools increasingly have a legal, as well as moral, responsibility for combating hate crimes since so many of the perpetrators and the victims are of school age.
According to a 2001 Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report:
33% of all known hate crime offenders were under 18; another 29% of all hate crime offenders were 18-24.
30% of all victims of bias-motivated aggravated assaults and 34% of the victims of simple assault were under 18.
Hate behavior generates humiliation, shock, outrage, fear and anxiety in the victim and in the victim's community. When such an incident occurs at school, the entire school community experiences a loss of safety. Feelings of vulnerability, insecurity and alienation become common. Ultimately, these feelings produce a negative school climate where not only is school safety questioned, but learning is disrupted, and instruction is occupied with classroom management.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics:
in 2001, 12% of students ages 12 through 18 reported that someone at school had used hate-related words - derogatory words having to do with race, religion, ethnicity, ability, gender, or sexual orientation - against them in the previous 6 months.
in both 1999 and 2001, 36% of students saw hate-related graffiti at school.