UNITED STATES NEWS

Biden administration says colleges must fight ‘alarming rise’ in antisemitism and Islamophobia

Nov 7, 2023, 6:00 PM

Samuel Winkler wears a Hillel kippah during a visit by Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to Towson...

Samuel Winkler wears a Hillel kippah during a visit by Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to Towson University to discuss antisemitism on college campuses, Nov. 2, 2023, in Towson, Md. The Biden administration is warning U.S. schools and colleges that they must take immediate action to stop antisemitism and Islamophobia on their campuses, citing an “alarming rise” in threats and harassment. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson, File)

(AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson, File)

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is warning U.S. schools and colleges that they must take immediate action to stop antisemitism and Islamophobia on their campuses, citing an “alarming rise” in threats and harassment.

In a Tuesday letter, the Education Department said there’s “renewed urgency” to fight discrimination against students during the Israel-Hamas war. The letter reminds schools of their legal duty to protect students and intervene to stop harassment that disrupts their education.

“Hate-based discrimination, including based on antisemitism and Islamophobia among other bases, have no place in our nation’s schools,” wrote Catherine E. Lhamon, assistant secretary for civil rights at the department.

Universities have faced mounting criticism over their response to the war and its reverberations at U.S. schools. Jewish and Muslim students on many campuses say too little is being done to keep them safe. Protests have sometimes turned violent including at a recent demonstration at Tulane University, while threats of violence have upended campuses including Cornell University.

The Education Department offered few specifics on how colleges should respond, and it did little to answer questions about where to draw the line between political speech and harassment. Instead, it outlined schools’ broad duties under the Civil Rights Act.

It says schools must intervene to stop conduct that is “objectively offensive and is so severe or pervasive that it limits or denies a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the recipient’s education program or activity.” It urged schools to “be vigilant in protecting your students’ rights.”

The Education Department investigates reports of civil rights violations at schools and universities. Institutions can face penalties up to a loss of federal money.

Meeting with a group of Jewish students from Baltimore-area colleges last week, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said he was “appalled and horrified” by incidents of antisemitism on U.S. campuses. He vowed to support universities as they work to protect students from all backgrounds.

In other actions, federal law enforcement officials have partnered with campus police to assess threats and improve security. Last week the Education Department added language to a federal complaint form clarifying that certain forms of antisemitism and Islamophobia are prohibited by federal civil rights law.

___

The Associated Press education team receives support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

 

United States News

Associated Press

Former pro surfer known for riding huge Pipeline waves dies in shark attack while surfing off Oahu

A well-known Hawaii lifeguard who was killed in a shark attack while surfing off Oahu’s North Shore was a former professional surfer with acting credits to his name, including a role in one of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies. Tamayo Perry, 49, was killed Sunday near Goat Island, Shayne Enright of the Honolulu Emergency […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

More rain possible in deluged Midwest as flooding kills 2, causes water to surge around dam

NORTH SIOUX CITY, S.D. (AP) — More storms are possible in parts of the deluged Midwest, where flooding after days of heavy rains has killed at least two people, sent a river surging around a dam and forced evacuations and rescues. Severe storms were forecast for Tuesday afternoon and evening with large hail, damaging winds […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Lawsuit challenges new Louisiana law requiring classrooms to display the Ten Commandments

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Civil liberties groups filed a lawsuit Monday to block Louisiana’s new law that requires the Ten Commandments to be displayed in every public school classroom, a measure they contend is unconstitutional. Plaintiffs in the suit include parents of Louisiana public school children with various religious backgrounds, who are represented by […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

A look at Julian Assange and how the long-jailed WikiLeaks founder is now on the verge of freedom

WASHINGTON (AP) — News that the U.S. Justice Department has reached a plea deal that will lead to freedom for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange brings a stunning culmination to a long-running saga of international intrigue that spanned multiple continents. Its central character is a quixotic internet publisher with a profound disdain for government secrets. A […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Missouri, Kansas judges temporarily halt much of President Biden’s student debt forgiveness plan

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Federal judges in Kansas and Missouri on Monday together blocked much of a Biden administration student loan repayment plan that provides a faster path to cancellation and lower monthly payments for millions of borrowers. The judges’ rulings prevent the U.S. Department of Education from helping many of the intended borrowers ease […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

US and allies clash with Tehran and Moscow over Iranian nuclear program at UN Security Council

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United States and its key European allies clashed with Iran and Russia over Tehran’s expanding nuclear program, with the U.S. vowing “to use all means necessary to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran” in a U.N. Security Council meeting on Monday. The U.S., France, Britain and Germany accused Iran of escalating its […]

2 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

Biden administration says colleges must fight ‘alarming rise’ in antisemitism and Islamophobia