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Pro-Palestinian protests disrupt colleges across the US: Live updates

12 p.m. ET, April 29, 2024

Jewish student sues Columbia, alleging it fails to provide safe environment

From CNN’s Matt Egan

An anonymous Jewish student claimed in a complaint filed Monday that Columbia University is failing to provide a safe learning environment for students during ongoing pro-Palestinian protests.

The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, claims that Colombia has “become too dangerous a place for Jewish students in Colombia to receive the education they were promised.”

The complaint, filed against Columbia’s board of trustees in the Southern District of New York, includes many sections redacted to protect the identity of the plaintiff, who is described as a “Jewish sophomore” and whose Education was disrupted by the hostile environment on campus.

The lawsuit particularly calls into question Columbia’s decision to adopt a hybrid learning model last week, amid unrest on campus.

“Jewish students… benefit from a second-class education where they are relegated to their homes to attend classes virtually and deprived of the opportunity to meaningfully interact with other students and professors and take exams with their peers “, the lawsuit states. “The segregation of Jewish students is a dangerous development that can quickly escalate into more serious acts of violence and discrimination. »

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff seeks to “hold Columbia accountable for its failure to provide a safe educational environment for its students.”

Through a separate motion, the plaintiff also seeks an emergency injunction to compel Columbia to enforce its Statement of Ethical Conduct and Code of Administrative Conduct to provide safe access to education.

Colombia refused to comment on the trial.

Columbia President Minouche Shafik acknowledged in a statement Monday that many Jewish and other students had “found the atmosphere intolerable in recent weeks.”

“Many have left campus, and it’s a tragedy. To these students and their families, I want to tell you clearly: you are a valuable part of the Colombian community,” Shafik said. “It’s your campus too. We are committed to making Columbia safe for everyone and ensuring you feel welcome and valued.

The lawsuit alleges that a subset of protesters committed acts of violence, harassed Jewish students and faculty, and incited hate speech and violence.

“These extremist protesters are not engaging in constitutionally protected freedom of expression. Instead, they openly incite violence against Jewish students,” the lawsuit states.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiff claims that the move to hybrid at Columbia harmed her academic performance and “left her feeling excluded and marginalized from her college of education and her university in general.”

“Had Plaintiff known that Columbia would not provide a safe educational environment, she would not have chosen to enroll or pay tuition at Columbia,” the lawsuit states.

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With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class.After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim.Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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