Harassment and Hate Crimes

Harassment occurs when someone threatens another person and that person has a reasonable fear that the threat will be carried out. Many harassment cases arise from texting, telephone calls, or even postings on Facebook. Teenagers in particular may act out with words and not consider the consequences. Many kids repeat words from rap music that can be construed as threatening or violent without even realizing it. This is true also of hate crimes where an individual may make a statement about another person’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. Making a threatening statement that includes any of these issues can be considered a hate crime even if it was intended as a joke.