Psychologist: There are indicators before hate crimes occur

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November 20, 2013, 12:03 pm
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(NECN) - The racist graffiti found in Lunenburg, Mass. left many parents thinking about how a hate crime could be aimed at anyone, including their own children.

Doctor Kate Roberts is a clinical psychologist, a parent, and a coach. She discussed the incident in Lunenburg with this perspective.

Roberts believes the first thing to do if a parent is suspicious of bullying is to open a dialogue. She thinks that parents have to assume that there is going to be some competition and aggression among youth in higher level team sports.

Young athletes are idolizing professional teams like the Miami Dolphins, where bullying still takes place. Therefore, it is important to encourage both perpetrators and victims to come forward early.

After the graffiti incident occurred in Lunenburg, the school decided to cancel the football season. Roberts talked about if this was the right decision.

“To move forward, they need to figure out what’s going on here. And I think that the team needs to be responsible because it sounds like they’re very involved, and they must have some reason to believe that. So I think that it’s a distraction and a minimization to just continue with the football,” explained Roberts.

Roberts believes that if people begin to come forward with information, it would be an indication of readiness to change.

“There must be early indicators that weren’t recognized before something like this big happens,” concluded Roberts.

Tags: massachusetts, Miami Dolphins, Lunenburg, hate crimes, Doctor Kate Roberts, Parent dialogue, youth athletes
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