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Wyoming Teaches Tolerance

Following the brutal murder of 21-year-old Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming in 1998, both the University and area public schools have worked hard to counter homophobia will inclusive curricula. Public school conflict resolution classes now focus on preventing bullying and curbing homophobic harassment. At the University of Wyoming, education students are trained in teaching tolerance. In a similar move, Wyoming Attorney General Gay Woodhouse discussed new policies on hate crimes in her state. The Nando Times reports that Shepard’s murder was one of six hate crimes in Wyoming in 1998; the other crimes, not fatal, targeted three black persons, one Asian person, and a Jewish person. In an effort to increase awareness of hate crimes, Woodhouse held a seminar last spring in which law enforcement officers were trained to recognize the signs of a hate crime. With proposed state and federal hate crimes legislation vigorously opposed, Wyoming’s attempts are laudable.

Sources:

Nando Times and AP- October 8, 1999