On October 28, 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HCPA). The HCPA allows the federal government to provide assistance in the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes—or, in limited circumstances, to investigate and prosecute hate crime cases when a locality is unable or unwilling to prosecute. Second, it ensures that crimes which target their victims because of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability are all covered by the law.
This lesson provides an opportunity for middle and high school students to understand the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, learn about how hate escalates, connect the understanding of the escalation of hate with Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr.’s murders and consider what young people can do in their schools and communities to prevent hate crimes.
This lesson plan has been put together by the Anti-Defamation League, and a pdf version is available here.
- R.1: Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
Speaking and Listening
- SL.1: Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Link to the original page is available here.