OCR Investigating Even More Schools Over Antisemitic, Anti-Muslim Discrimination

Sanford, UCLA, UC San Diego, Rutgers, the University of Washington, and Whitman College have just been added to the list of schools.

OCR Investigating Even More Schools Over Antisemitic, Anti-Muslim Discrimination

Image via Adobe, by Ana Baraulta

UPDATE DECEMBER 13, 2023: The list of schools being investigated over alleged antisemitism and Islamophobia has grown to now include Stanford University; the University of California, Los Angeles; Rutgers University; the University of California, San Diego; the University of Washington; and Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, reports NBC News.

All of the campuses said they will fully cooperate with the investigations.

UPDATE DECEMBER 11, 2023: Tulane University in Louisiana, Union College in New York, Cobb County School District in Georgia, University of Cincinnati in Ohio, Santa Monica College in California, and Montana State University in Montana have all been added to the list of schools being investigated by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) for discrimination.

OCR would not say what type of discrimination is being investigated, reports ABC News. However, Cobb County told the news outlet it is being investigated over one complaint about an “anti-Muslim incident.”

Tulane University said its incident happened at a “rally organized by a group that is not recognized by Tulane” and over which it has no control.

Union College said it is being investigated over allegations that there has been harassment against Jewish students and that the school didn’t properly respond.


The U.S. Department of Education announced on Thursday that it is investigating six institutions of higher education and one K-12 school district over possible antisemitic, anti-Muslim, or anti-Arab harassment.

The schools being investigated are:

  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Lafayette College
  • Maize Unified School District
  • Wellesley College
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is investigating the schools for alleged shared ancestry violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits race, color, or national origin discrimination, including harassment based on a person’s shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics.

According to the education department, five of the complaints being investigated allege antisemitic harassment and two allege anti-Muslim harassment.

Earlier this month, the Department of Education released a Dear Colleague Letter reminding schools of their legal obligations under Title VI and its implementing regulations to provide all students a school environment free from discrimination based on race, color, or national origin, including shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics.

All institutions of higher education and K-12 schools receiving federal funds must comply with Title VI. Schools that violate the law and refuse to address the problems identified by OCR can ultimately lose federal funding or be referred to the U.S. Department of Justice for further action.

One complaint being investigated alleged that an email sent by Wellesley College residential advisers and staff to students said, “there should be no space, no consideration, and no support for Zionism within the Wellesley College community,” reports NY1. Another complaint alleged Wellesley faculty participated in a “teach-in” where they shared their historical context and perspectives on the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Last month, vicious antisemitic posts prompted Cornell University officials to advise their Jewish students to avoid the school’s kosher dining hall. A Cornell junior has been arrested and charged for making those threats.

There has been an alarming rise in these types of incidents in the U.S. since the start of the Israel-Hamas conflict on October 7. ADL reports that since the start of the conflict, antisemitic incidents in the U.S. have increased 316%. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) reports that from October 7 to November 4, there have been 1,286 reported anti-Muslim or anti-Arab incidents.

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About the Author

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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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