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While there has always been tension among pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli student groups, the start of this school year has seen an enormous amount of hostility toward Jewish students on college campuses across America, verbal – and in some cases physical – assaults that appear to have spiked as unrest in the Middle East rages.

In the last month alone, there have been at least four reported cases of extreme verbal and physical assaults on Jewish students, including a mid-August incident in which a Temple University Jewish student was punched in the face and called a “k*ke.”

“It is sad to see a recommitment to a culture of hatred by so many students and professors on college campuses across the country,” Brandeis University student Daniel Mael said in an email to The College Fix.

Mael, a contributor to the website Truth Revolt, has chronicled much of the onslaught over the last month or so. He reported on the assault at Temple, and more recently two of his articles have brought to light: a mid-September incident in which “I Hate Jews” was carved into a bathroom at East Carolina University – two days after students spray painted a swastika on a Jewish students’ door; and several assaults on a female Jewish student at UNC Charlotte who was told to “go burn in an oven” and was spit at by Muslim students.

In addition to Mael’s reporting, The College Fix this week reported on how members of Students for Justice in Palestine at Loyola University-Chicago verbally assaulted their Jewish peers recently, hurling a variety of insults at them before creating a human wall to block their attempt to advertise trips to Israel.

The Jewish students were taunted with rhetorical questions such as: “How does it feel to be an occupier?” and “How does it feel to be guilty of ethnic cleansing?” – prompting at least one Jewish student at Loyola University-Chicago to fear for her safety.

In Ohio, pro-Israel students were arrested earlier this month at Ohio University for vocalizing their concern at a student government meeting over extreme efforts to urge the campus to divest from Israel.

“The line between healthy and robust criticism of Israel and Jew hatred has been largely eliminated,” Mael said. “The hard-left, which claims to care about human rights, clearly has no other agenda than to target Jews [and] provide sympathy for terrorist organizations like Hamas.”

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Ohio University student government president Megan Marzec’s “blood bucket challenge” against Israel, and subsequent arrest of her critics at a Senate meeting, appears to have tipped the scales for one student official who’s sick of the dysfunctional Senate.

Treasurer Carter Phillips tendered his resignation in a floor speech at the Senate meeting Wednesday night, explicitly citing Marzec’s arrest of Bobcats for Israel students at last week’s meeting, The Post reported. (You can watch Phillips’ 5-minute speech, which ends with hearty applause from the Senate, here.)

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Phillips said “the environment of this organization no longer empowers me to fulfill my duties.” The Senate “has managed to irredeemably fall” after a string of stumbles, and it no longer cares about listening to other views or compromise, he said.

“Today this body has no organization, no communication, and no respect for its members” – and, in the process, no “credibility” with a weary Ohio University administration, Phillips added.

Referring to last week’s arrest of pro-Israel speakers at the Senate meeting, Phillips said of the Senate: 

We disrupt them when they’re speaking, we chant when they sit down, and we have them arrested for speaking out. All legitimacy we had … went out the door in handcuffs last Wednesday. This is no longer a government, it is a circus.

Read the Post‘s story here, and watch the video of Phillips’ resignation here.

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IMAGES: The Post screenshots

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Update on this 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision from February: The appeals court on Wednesday refused to rehear a case en banc - the full court reviewing the three-judge panel’s ruling – concerning the extent of First Amendment protections for student speech.

And it has three judges in dissent warning that the 9th Circuit – the most overruled appeals court in the federal system - is going to get overruled yet again by the Supreme Court.

The case concerned California high school students who had worn American flag-themed clothing to school on Cinco de Mayo and were ordered to go home or turn their clothes inside out after Hispanic students complained. The court had said the school didn’t violate the students’ rights to free expression, explaining that

given the history of prior events at the school, including an altercation on campus, it was reasonable for school officials to proceed as though the threat of a potentially violent disturbance was real.

Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote a dissent joined by judges Richard Tallman and Carlos Bea that scolded the majority of the court for not rehearing the case. It’s a particularly important read on Constitution Day (starting on page 5):

The freedom of speech guaranteed by our Constitution is in greatest peril when the government may suppress speech simply because it is unpopular. For that reason, it is a foundational tenet of First Amendment law that the government cannot silence a speaker because of how an audience might react to the speech. It is this bedrock principle—known as the heckler’s veto doctrine—that the panel overlooks, condoning the suppression of free speech by some students because other students might have reacted violently.

In doing so, the panel creates a split with the Seventh and Eleventh Circuits and permits the will of the mob to rule our schools.

Despite his introductory statement that he “respectfully” disagrees with the majority, O’Scannlain really gives it to them, especially their interpretation of the foundational Tinker decision that first recognized students’ speech rights:

The panel claims that the source of the threatened violence at Live Oak is irrelevant: apparently requiring school officials to stop the source of a threat is too burdensome when a more “readily-available” solution is at hand, … namely, silencing the target of the threat. Thus the panel finds it of no consequence that the students exercising their free speech rights did so peacefully, that their expression took the passive form of wearing shirts, or that there is no allegation that they threatened other students with violence. …

Live Oak’s reaction to the possible violence against the student speakers, and the panel’s blessing of that reaction, sends a clear message to public school students: by threatening violence against those with whom you disagree, you can enlist the power of the State to silence them. …

In this case, the disfavored speech was the display of an American flag. But let no one be fooled: by interpreting Tinker to permit the heckler’s veto, the panel opens the door to the suppression of any viewpoint opposed by a vocal and violent band of students.

Read the full dissent here. For more analysis, see National Review and the Washington Free Beacon.

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IMAGE: ChrisGoldNY/Flickr

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The Los Angeles Unified school board recently voted to “retain internal emails” for only one year from here on out. Which is quite a coincidence considering less than three weeks prior, two year-old emails came to light detailing some very questionable district financial dealings:

Emails obtained by KPCC show Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy personally began meeting with Pearson and Apple to discuss the eventual purchase of their products starting nearly a year before the contract went out to public bid.

Detailed in dozens of emails, the early private talks included everything from prices – about $160 million over five years – to tech support.

“On behalf of those involved in Pearson Common Core System of Courses, I want you to know how much we are looking forward to our partnership with LAUSD,” Pearson staffer Sherry King wrote the head of curriculum for L.A. Unified at the time, Jaime Aquino, in November 2012. “We have begun to work closely with your leadership to help make the transition to the common core smooth for everyone.”

The blog tech dirt reports that “what was implemented never worked properly,” and went from a $500 million to a $1.3 billion boondoggle.

Superintendent Deasy cancelled the program a mere three days after revelation of the emails by KPCC.

tech dirt also notes what The College Fix reported back in early July — that iPad distribution in the district proved a disaster as, among other things, students were quickly able to bypass built-in security measures.

Read more here.

h/t to Instapundit.

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Writing in the University of Georgia’s The Red & Black, Katelyn Umholtz cannot seem to reconcile how Millennials can believe in a colorblind society … and also oppose affirmative action (my emphasis):

A survey conducted by MTV asked 3,000 Millennials ages 14 to 24 their thoughts on race-related issues, including affirmative action for college acceptance, in May. And what it found was seemingly paradoxical: 90 percent of Millennials surveyed “believe that everyone should be treated the same regardless of race,” yet 88 percent opposed affirmative action.

Thomas Greneker, a senior University of Georgia biology major from Valdosta, said it’s a “tricky debate” because diversity is so important. However, he said he does not think affirmative action is the fairest route to take when creating a diverse community.

“It’s not an equal approach in a push for equality,” Greneker said.

Seriously: why the phrase “seemingly paradoxical” and the word “yet” when comparing the belief in colorblindness to opposition to affirmative action?

Only those obsessed with diversity could see a contradiction between the two.

Read the full article here.

h/t to Discriminations.

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Today is your last day to comment on proposed changes to Ohio University’s Student Code of Conduct, revised over the summer by the school’s Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility and Review and Standards Committee.

The office posted a draft revision and overview of “major changes,” but they will be taken down after Wednesday. Based on the file name, it appears the university released the revision on Sept. 10, giving interested parties only a week to comment.

The Post reported that officials said the changes would “barely affect” discipline for most students. Changes include:

  • Separate sections have been added for hazing and sexual misconduct.
  • All alcohol violations will appear under “Alcoholic Beverages Violations,” rather than in different sections. It will be the same for marijuana and other drugs, appearing under “Controlled Substance and/or Drug Violation.”
  • Appealing to the Vice President for Student Affairs has been removed for cases where the sanction is only probation.

A student defense group that’s actually suing the university for censoring its T-shirts, of all things, already provided input on revisions:

More offenses are technically punishable by harsher punishments, such as suspension or expulsion, but Kaitlyn Patton, the Students Defending Students director, said she believes more suspensions won’t happen because she trusts the staff in the community standards office.

The proposed revision and overview can also be viewed below.

Overview-of-Proposed-Code-Changes

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Read the full Post story here.

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