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Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift: A Statement on Hate Crimes

Governor Jane Swift -- "These are very difficult days in our nation's history. As we continue to condemn the terror inflicted upon us, we in Massachusetts must never for one moment let any feelings of anger and frustration lead us to act in ways that are wholly inconsistent with our core beliefs and values. Retaliation against anyone based on race, ethnicity, or national origin is repugnant to our way of life. To engage in such acts is to victimize America twice, and we will not let that happen.

"I want to send a special message to the students of Massachusetts. I have faith that you will continue to be strong during this time of tragedy and sadness. Remember to reach out, rather than reject. And never forget that we are a great nation because we respect and value diversity. As our future leaders, you have a special opportunity to show that the Commonwealth and the nation's brightest days are ahead."

Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll -- "In Massachusetts we have a law, the Equal Educational Opportunity Law, that ensures all students the right to equal educational opportunities in the public schools regardless of their race, color, sex, religion, national origin or sexual orientation. In thoughtful and caring ways, schools and communities already address issues related to hatred and intolerance. For example, we have effective grant programs such as Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Safe Schools for Gay and Lesbian Students that teach tolerance and acceptance.

"I hope you find this information timely and useful. Working together in partnership, we can support our youth who may be at risk of misplacing their anger by helping them to make choices that are safe and to stay that way."

For more information, see the Governor's Commission on Hate Crimes website at

Last Updated: September 17, 2001
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