Education Department Investigates Schools for Discrimination Amid Israel-Hamas Conflict
This week, the Department of Education (DOE) disclosed that it is looking into six schools nationwide for potential discrimination issues related to the Israel-Hamas conflict.
The DOE's Office for Civil Rights recently initiated investigations into Montana State University, Tulane University, Union College, the University of Cincinnati, Santa Monica College, and the Cobb County School District in Georgia. The focus is on cases of alleged discrimination involving shared ancestry.
A spokesperson from the DOE declined to comment on the investigations but directed Fox News Digital to a November press release issued after the DOE started investigations into multiple schools following the October 7 terrorist attack by Hamas.
Concerns About Discrimination Addressed
"Hate has no place in our schools, period. When students are targeted because they are — or are perceived to be — Jewish, Muslim, Arab, Sikh, or any other ethnicity or shared ancestry, schools must act to ensure safe and inclusive educational environments where everyone is free to learn," emphasized U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. "These investigations underscore how seriously the Biden-Harris Administration, including the U.S. Department of Education, takes our responsibility to protect students from hatred and discrimination."
Back in November, schools like Cornell University, Columbia University, and the University of Pennsylvania were also under investigation by the DOE.
Incident Near Tulane University Leads to Investigations
While the DOE did not specify why these investigations were initiated, a pro-Palestinian protest near Tulane in November ended with several arrests after three individuals were assaulted.
The protest was not officially sanctioned by Tulane, and it did not take place on its campus. However, the university's police were present, according to university President Michael Fitts.
Fitts expressed deep concern about the protest, describing it as "distressing" and intentional. He emphasized that those who committed illegal acts would be held accountable, emphasizing the need to find a path forward during challenging times.
Tulane Takes Action
A Tulane spokesperson told Fox News Digital that the incident under investigation occurred at a rally organized by a group not recognized by Tulane. The rally took place on public property outside the university's control. Following the incident, Tulane increased security on campus and implemented measures to address antisemitism.
Tulane University is committed to cooperating fully with the investigation, according to the spokesperson.
Responses from Other Schools
Santa Monica College responded to a complaint about an October 19 incident, where its student government allegedly improperly denied a charter to Students Supporting Israel. The college took prompt action to address the situation, demonstrating its commitment to a discrimination-free environment.
Fox News Digital reached out to Montana State University, Union College, the University of Cincinnati, and Cobb County School District for their responses.
Note: Fox News Digital's Peter Aitken contributed to this report.
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