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Title VI Complaint Alleges Systemic Antisemitism at Sarah Lawrence College

Credits: Fox News

The US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has received a new complaint against Sarah Lawrence College, alleging violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.

The complaint, filed by Hillels of Westchester on behalf of Jewish students, details instances of antisemitism on campus and accuses the college of ignoring the issue. One student cited in the complaint, Sammy Tweedy, left Sarah Lawrence College after facing relentless antisemitism and threats.

Tweedy recalled receiving violent and threatening messages from members of the campus chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine after returning from a trip to Israel. Despite reporting the threats to the administration, no action was taken.

Antisemitism at Sarah Lawrence College (Credits: Bloomberg)

The complaint also highlights incidents of antisemitic posts on social media, including derogatory remarks targeting Jewish students. It alleges that the college’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion director promoted an event hosted by the SJP chapter without acknowledging the trauma experienced by Jewish students.

According to Tweedy, there is a lack of a tight-knit Jewish community at Sarah Lawrence, and Jewish identity is often shunned due to its association with Israel. The complaint accuses the college of creating a hostile environment for Jewish students through years of inaction.

Antisemitism at Sarah Lawrence College (Credits: CNN)

Rachel Klein, executive director of Hillels of Westchester, stated that the organization has reached a breaking point after years of pleas for the college to support its Jewish community. She emphasized the severity of bias incidents at Sarah Lawrence College, which prompted the filing of the Title VI complaint.

Baruch Weiss, partner at Arnold & Porter and counsel for Hillels of Westchester, emphasized that colleges cannot ignore harassment or discrimination against Jewish students under federal law. The investigation into the complaint aims to bring real remedies to the problems at Sarah Lawrence College.

The rise in antisemitism on college campuses following recent events prompted the US Education Department to update its complaint form, making it easier for students to report religious discrimination under Title VI.

Between October 7 and November 7, the Office for Civil Rights received 12 complaints of discrimination based on shared ancestry, with seven involving antisemitism.

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