Information aimed at reporting bullying and attacks in Idaho communities
Boise, ID—The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Idaho has launched a campaign in ten different languages to help Idaho families document and report incidents of harassment, bullying, and intimidation. The campaign features web-based and print information covering basics for documenting and reporting incidents of intimidation, harassment, and bullying, as well as a video captioned in the same ten languages, all of them common in Idaho: Swahili, Kinyarwanda, French, Arabic, Spanish, Russian, Bosnian, English, Kirundi, and Somali. The ACLU will follow these materials with a recorded webinar on Monday, January 23, 2017, about documenting and reporting harassment, bullying and intimidation in Idaho open to families throughout Idaho.
The campaign is part of the ACLU’s efforts to elevate the awareness of individual rights, as well as to offer an avenue for Idahoans to report incidents of harassment, intimidation and attacks. The campaign responds to an increase in reports of harassment in Idaho communities and a spike over the past two months in requests to the ACLU for information and training on addressing discrimination.
“We feel it necessary to increase our educational efforts regarding bulling, harassment and attacks as a result of increased concerns and acts in the community regarding such incidents, particularly toward refugees, immigrants, and transgender, queer, bisexual, lesbian, and gay youth,” said Leo Morales, ACLU of Idaho executive director. “It’s hard to document the exact increase in incidents, but it’s clear already that more people in marginalized communities are experiencing some kind of harassment, not just in Idaho, but across the country.”
The ACLU has recently received reports ranging from assaults against Latina/o Idahoans in public places, to public school employees advocating for segregation of lesbian and gay students, to refugees being stalked in their homes and workplaces. In a recent high-profile incident, the Idaho Black History Museum was a target of a racial slur written in the snow on the roof of their storage shed.
The new multi-lingual information encourages families and individuals to document incidents—making video or audio recordings when safe—and to report them to a trusted organization or friend. For incidents at public schools, jails, prisons or state hospitals, families and individuals are encouraged to file a formal complaint through the institution’s grievance process. The ACLU of Idaho itself also monitors civil rights violations throughout the state, and accepts reports of harassment, bullying, and intimidation online at https://www.acluidaho.org/en/resources/report-civil-liberties-violation and by mail. For incidents involving bullying or an attack from a partner or a family member, individuals are encouraged to call the Idaho Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-669-3176 or reported to the Idaho Legal Aid hotline at, 1-800-500-2980.
“This information serves as a reminder that we all have rights, regardless of where our family hails from, regardless of our spirituality or what religion we follow, regardless of our gender identity, and regardless of our sexual orientation. And, most importantly, this new campaign reminds us all how important it is to be ready to assert our rights,” commented Richard Eppink, ACLU of Idaho legal director. “This campaign should also remind public schools, government institutions, and community leaders that they have a key role to play in establishing a culture and environment where everyone feels safe from harassment, intimidation and attacks.”