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Cornell and Columbia among 7 schools monitored for anti-Semitism and Islamophobia

“When students are targeted because they are – or are perceived to be – Jewish, Muslim, Arab, Sikh or any other common ethnicity or ancestry, schools must act to ensure safe and inclusive educational environments where everyone is free to learn,” the Education Secretary said. Miguel Cardona said in a statement Thursday evening. “These investigations underscore how seriously the Biden-Harris administration, including the U.S. Department of Education, takes its responsibility to protect students from hate and discrimination. »

Biden administration officials have spent weeks meeting with Jewish and Muslim, Arab and Sikh leaders who say their communities are feeling an unprecedented level of anxiety since the attacks. The Department of Education said this week that Muslim, Arab and Sikh leaders described an “extremely disturbing pattern of hatred and threats of violence in schools and college campuses.”

The Department of Education said it will continue to update its list of surveys weekly on its Office for Civil Rights website. However, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine Lhamon cautioned that just because a school is under investigation “does not mean the law was violated.”

All schools that receive federal funds must comply with Title VI, a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on common ancestry, ethnic characteristics or national origin. Schools that violate the law could risk losing their federal funding if they don’t comply.

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