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Biden Administration Sends Clear Message on Anti-Semitism

Kenneth L. Marcus

The Hill, Sept. 1, 2022

“Lhamon’s message is important, and not only to reassure the Jewish community that she gets the problem. It is especially important for its true audience, which is the higher education community.”

Days ago, the U.S. Education Department’s civil rights office, OCR, resolved a major anti-Semitism case at Kyrene School District #28 in Arizona. Not only did OCR call out anti-Semitism in this one school district, it used this primary school case to fire a shot across the bow of higher education administrators who have not taken sufficient action to protect their own Jewish students, suggesting important nationwide implications for a civil rights agency that has faced congressional pressure for delays in processing anti-Semitism cases.

The federal investigation concludes that the Kyrene District, which comprises K-8 schools, violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by failing to respond appropriately to harassment of a Jewish student by numerous classmates over a period of several months, both in school and on social media. Other students called the girl a “dirty Jew,” “stinky Jew,” and “filthy Jew.” They said, “I hear you are good at head because Jews are so good at gasping for air” and asked her “How do you get a Jewish girl’s number?” then “lift her sleeve,” referencing the location of tattoos which were used to identify inmates in Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust. They created a pervasively hostile environment that too sadly resembles the situation students are facing around the country. … Source

 

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