Education Department Investigates Schools For Ancestry-Based Discrimination

( – The US Department of Education last Thursday released the names of K-12 schools and colleges that are currently under investigation for alleged shared ancestry violations as part of the administration’s effort to address discrimination in schools, The Hill reported.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement that when students are targeted due to their specific ethnicity or shared ancestry, schools must take steps to ensure a “safe and inclusive educational environment.”

According to the Education Department, the investigation is aimed at addressing reports of antisemitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of discrimination since the October 7 terrorist attack in Israel.

The Education Department said it released the names of the schools under investigation to follow through on the president’s promise to protect students in American schools and foster an inclusive and safe environment in which all students can learn.

Additionally, earlier this month, the Department of Education released a letter to schools reminding them of their Title VI obligations and their responsibility to implement its regulations to provide students with a teaching environment that is free from discrimination based on national origin, color, race, ethnicity, or shared ancestry.

Under Title VI, schools that receive federal financial assistance are required to address discrimination. Any school that fails to honor its obligations under Title VI could lose federal funding and could get referred to the Justice Department.

Currently, there are 51 elementary, secondary, and post-secondary institutions under investigation by the Department of Education.

One of the schools listed in last week’s press release, Cornell, earlier this month was forced to cancel classes due to antisemitic threats on campus that caused “extraordinary stress” on Jewish students.

According to the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, being included on the list of schools only means that an investigation has been initiated and not that the office has made a decision.

Copyright 2023,