update deskSchools & Higher Education

Idaho reps call on Ed Department to issue guidelines on university responses to protests

The legislators demanded an outline of how to protect Jewish and pro-Israel students from “persecution on college campuses nationwide.”

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona talks with reporters during a press briefing in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on Aug. 5, 2021. Credit: Official White House Photo by Cameron Smith.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona talks with reporters during a press briefing in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on Aug. 5, 2021. Credit: Official White House Photo by Cameron Smith.

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona received a letter from Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) and Russ Fulcher (R-Idaho) on May 15 regarding steps for addressing the antisemitic tent demonstrations that have proliferated across America.

“We write today demanding you provide Congress with an outline of how you are protecting Jewish and pro-Israel students from persecution on college campuses nationwide amid growing protests,” they wrote.

“We are also calling for the Department to create and distribute a best practices guide for universities showcasing the schools that have appropriately handled the recent increase in protests on their campuses.” the letter stated.

The Idaho delegation cited numerous incidents of hate speech during on-campus protests, including one incident when a student yelled “kill the Jews” and others used antisemitic slurs.

“The Department should compile a list of suggested policies and actions of universities that have safely protected the rights of all students and release best practices nationwide,” continued the letter.

The senators and congressmen concluded with eight questions and a deadline of June 1 for answers. These included requests for plans to protect students; criteria for determining when protests cross into hate speech; and plans for penalizing schools that fail to take proper action.

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