Office For Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education (OCR) Opens Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964 Investigation at the University of California Santa Cruz

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In a letter dated March 7, 2011,  responding to a complaint filed  by Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education (OCR) has agreed to open a Title VI investigation at the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC). The letter stated, “We have determined that the issue is appropriate for investigation under the laws enforced by OCR.”   The letter also stated that OCR has identified the following issue for investigation:

The recipient (UCSC)  “failed to take steps in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to respond to notice of a then existing hostile environment for Jewish Students based on their actual or perceived ancestry or ethnic characteristics.”

Ms.  Rossman-Benjamin, a lecturer in Hebrew at the University of California, Santa Cruz  (UCSC),  lodged  a 29-page extensively documented Title VI Complaint with the OCR  in June,  2009.  The complaint alleges, among other things,  that anti-Israel discourse and behavior in classrooms and that departmentally and university-sponsored events had created an “emotionally and intellectually hostile environment for Jewish students and had adversely affected their educational experience” at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC).  The complaint further alleges that: Continue reading

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