The Department of Education on Thursday released a list of higher education and K-12 institutions that are under investigation for alleged shared ancestry violations, as part of efforts to the Biden administration to respond to reports of growing discrimination in schools.
“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 common ethnicity or ancestry, schools must act to ensure safe and inclusive educational environments where everyone is free to “learn,” said the Secretary of State. Education Miguel Cardona said in a statement.
The department said the survey, which will be updated weekly on the Office for Civil Rights website, aims to address “the alarming increase in reports of anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim, “anti-Arab and other forms of discrimination” in schools since October 1. 7 surprise attacks by the Palestinian militant group Hamas on Israel and the weeks-long conflict that has since followed.
The department said that by releasing the list of schools, it is following through on President Biden’s promise to protect students and foster a safe and inclusive learning environment.
“As part of this work, last week the Department of Education issued a Dear Colleague Letter reminding schools of their legal obligations under Title VI and its implementing regulations to provide all students with a school environment free from discrimination based on race, color or national origin, including common ancestry or ethnic characteristics,” the statement said.
Title VI protections require schools that receive federal financial aid to fight discrimination.
Schools that fail to resolve discrimination issues may lose federal funding or be referred to the Justice Department, the release said.
As of November 16, 51 schools were under investigation by the Ministry of Education.
One of the schools on the list, Cornell University, had to cancel classes earlier this month due to “extraordinary stress” from anti-Semitic threats on campus.
The department’s announcement comes as tensions rise between student groups and school leaders following the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.
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