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(LifeSiteNews) — Conservatives are to blame for a rise in reported LGBT hate crimes at K-12 schools, so says the Washington Post.

Here’s the headline media outlets have begun to spread: “In states with laws targeting LGBTQ issues, school hate crimes quadrupled.”

“In states with restrictive laws, the number of hate crimes on K-12 campuses has more than quadrupled since the onset of a divisive culture war that has often centered on the rights of LGBTQ+ youth,” the article claims further.

“Restrictive laws” include bills against a 40-year-old man using the girl’s locker room and prohibitions on male athletes dominating female sports.

But those claims tell an incomplete picture, according to Dr. Michael New, a social scientist at the Catholic University of America.

He said one possible reason for the increase is there are more students identifying as LGBT.

Dr. New notes the analysis looked at “reported hate crimes” not “actual hate crimes.”

“There might be more knowledge of hotlines or other mechanisms to report potential hate crimes among LGBTQ students,” New told LifeSiteNews via email. “There might be more willingness to report hate crimes among LGBTQ students. Furthermore, it is possible that acts of bullying and harassment against LGBTQ students might be more likely to be classified as hate crimes today than they were in the past.”

In other words, what might have been considered one student bullying another student 10 years ago is now elevated to a hate crime if the person being bullied identifies as homosexual or transgender.

The business professor and regular commentator on media claims about pro-life issues also questioned the causal claims of the article.

“I fail to see any plausible connection between legislation that would prevent biological men from competing in women’s sports to reported or actual hate crimes against LGBTQ students,” New told LifeSiteNews.

He is right. It takes a big leap to say that a law in say, Oklahoma, that prohibits men from being housed in a female prison causes a 15-year-old to bully someone for cross-dressing.

Though the article makes it sound like there is widespread violence against individuals with homosexual or gender dysphoric inclinations, context is needed.

“The Washington Post overstates the problem,” New said. “Acts of violence, bullying, and harassment are clearly wrong. However, the article identifies only about 200 hate crimes reported against LGBTQ K-12 students.”

He noted “there are over 50 million K-12 students in the country (per census data). The chances of a K-12 student being the victim of a anti-LGBTQ hate crime is one in 250,000.”

“When college students are included, there are only about 250 hate crimes total. Considering that there are over 70 million students in the country (K-12, college, graduate school per census data), the chances of a student being the victim of an anti-LGBTQ hate crime is one in 280,000,” New said.

Remember the hate crime that fell apart in just a few days?

What is considered an LGBT hate crime can be debunked in just days.

The March 12 story discussed the death of “Nex” Benedict, first reported to have died after being beaten up in a high school in Oklahoma. Benedict identified as “non-binary,” and Democrats, including President Joe Biden, were quick to blame conservative laws against gender ideology.

But Benedict actually started the fight in the Oklahoma high school and died not from being beaten up, but from drug overdose suicide. There was no “lethal trauma” according to the medical examiner.

The police told Benedict not to file charges against the girls, because she was the one that started the fight. “The minute you threw water on them you made the first jab. It may not go the direction you want it to go,” a police officer tells Benedict in the hospital after the fight.

Other information undercuts the media narrative.

The Post, to its credit, reports “the per capita hate crime rates on K-12 and college campuses were higher in the more liberal states that have not enacted laws limiting transgender rights.”

It then spins this, paraphrasing an expert and reporting “LGBTQ youth and families living in those 22 states were probably more likely to report violence and harassment in the first place.”

But then how did reported hate crimes quadruple in red states? As Dr. New noted, there is no clear connection between conservative laws and reported crime.

Florida, for example, saw only four LGBT hate crimes in K-12 in 2022. But 2022 was the year Florida passed its anti-grooming “Parental Rights in Education” law, falsely referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

The Post cites Virginia as another example. “Since his election in 2021, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) has encouraged schools to require that students use facilities matching their biological sex and has signed a law requiring schools to alert parents of ‘sexually explicit’ lessons, alarming LGBTQ+ advocacy groups, which predicted it would be used to limit education on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

So, 2022 must have been a big year for school LGBT hate crimes, right? The data show it is possible LGBT hate crimes decreased in the past several years.

The commonwealth does not provide specific data on these types of crimes at K-12, but there were only 10 reported victims under 18 for “gender identity bias” and “sexual orientation bias.” In 2019, there were 14 reported victims under 18 for “sexual orientation bias” and none for “gender identity bias.

The claims fail the basic logic test. In the minds of Washington Post reporters, high schoolers are just waiting around until a Republican governor says no more men using girl’s bathrooms to launch their violence.

No, that is not happening. What is more likely?

There is an increased focus on high schoolers who identify as LGBT.

More high schoolers are claiming they are LGBT, so hitting or bullying are now being classified as hate crimes – school crime has held steady between 2019 to 2021, according to the Department of Education.

The media falsely claimed pro-life law would make it harder for people with chronic illnesses to get their medication. That claim has been debunked.

Now it’s time to add “conservative laws lead to more LGBT hate crimes” to the pile.

Democracy may die in darkness, but the truth thrives in the light.