US Education Dept. investigates Harvard following complaint from Pro-Palestinian students

02/06/24 Reposted from

The U.S. Department of Education’s civil rights division launched an investigation into Harvard this week after Arab, Muslim and pro-Palestinian students alleged discrimination on campus.

The investigation follows a complaint by the Muslim Legal Fund of America on behalf of the students, who said they’ve been accosted, yelled at and called terrorists since the deadly Oct. 7 attack by Hamas on Israel. They say Harvard has not done enough to protect students from intimidation and harassment on campus.

Students like Jana Amin, a Harvard junior, welcomed it.

“Learning can’t happen when there’s people interrupting the process at every corner,” said Amin, who is Arab American and a pro-Palestinian activist.

Amin’s image appeared on the now-infamous “doxxing truck” that identified Harvard students involved in pro-Palestinian causes and labeled them “Harvard’s leading antisemites.”

A Harvard spokesperson told GBH News: “We support the work of the Office of Civil Rights to ensure students’ rights to access educational programs are safeguarded and will work with the office to address their questions.”

The Education Department’s civil rights division has also launched a separate investigation into claims of mounting antisemitism at Harvard, as well as at other college campuses that include Wellesley College.

Last month, six Jewish students at Harvard also filed a federal lawsuit against Harvard, alleging that the university has “become a bastion of rampant anti-Jewish hatred and harassment.”

Rabbi Getzel Davis, campus rabbi at Harvard Hillel, said in an email after the most recent complaint was filed that Harvard is not living up to its responsibility to protect students from a hostile environment.

“All students should be able to participate in college life without facing any discrimination,” he wrote. “That goes for Jewish and Israeli students as well as Muslim, Arab, and Palestinian students.”

Amin declined to say if she was named in the complaint made by Muslim and Arab students at Harvard. But she said Harvard hasn’t done enough to protect students like her.

“I think certainly the truck was a big example of that because you couldn’t go to class without seeing it,” she said. “This is our home, too.”

Officials at the Department of Education said they do not comment on pending investigations.