Toronto Sun

Thursday, May 30, 2002

Cops corral kids' hate

By George Christopoulos
Toronto Sun

Toronto Police will soon launch an education campaign aimed at fighting the spread of hate groups into city schools.

Beginning in September, liaison officers will introduce a series of education initiatives, including a new curriculum addressing hate crimes, to all Grade 8 students across the city.

The program was developed in the wake of police statistics indicating hate crimes rose by 66% last year -- their highest level since police began tracking them eight years ago.

Police Chief Julian Fantino said the force will also hire a research assistant as part of a pilot project to monitor the Internet for hate sites; monitor information of hate mongers and maintain a database of the information.

The curriculum "takes students through various scenarios to help them understand the nature and the damage that hate crime perpetuates upon our communities," Fantino said. "Hate groups ... target youth and poison their minds."

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