SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Thaddeus Jones, D-Calumet City, is proposing a bill which would combat hate crimes and racial prejudice by funding mobile tolerance education centers for students across Illinois.
“If we want to stop prejudice from invading our society, we have to start with our children,” Jones said. “I want to provide today’s youth with the knowledge they need to stop hate speech and hate crimes from continuing in everyday life. These mobile tolerances buses can help us educate people across Illinois and confront bigotry with openness and care for others.”
Jones is sponsoring House Bill 2646, which appropriates $3.45 million to the Illinois State Board of Education to coordinate with the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a global human rights organization, to set up mobile tolerance education centers. The 31 active hate groups in Illinois represent a growing threat of racially-motivated violence. Just as worrying is the trend of non-reporting; about half of hate crime victims are intimidated into not reporting an incident. Jones’ goal with this legislation is to combat the problem head on, and secure a better future for Illinois’ youth.