Two Schools Failed to Protect Religious Students

( – The US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights completed its assessments into complaints of antisemitic or anti-Muslim harassment at the University of Michigan and the City University of New York (CUNY) system and concluded that both schools failed to adequately investigate or address student complaints.

The conclusions released this week mark the first of dozens of assessments launched by the Office of Civil Rights since the October 7 terrorist attacks in Israel.

The Office of Civil Rights investigated 75 claims of alleged harassment and discrimination at the University of Michigan from students of Jewish or Muslim ancestry and determined that the University failed to meet the requirements of Title VI regarding a hostile environment.

In its resolution agreement with the Office of Civil Rights, the University of Michigan agreed to implement further training, conduct a climate assessment, and update its policies where needed.

The school will also be monitored by the Office of Civil Rights through the end of 2026. The university’s responses to any further complaints about discrimination must be reported to the Office of Civil Rights.

University President Santa Ono said in a statement that the University of Michigan condemned “all forms of discrimination” in the “strongest possible terms” and would continue to educate its community about freedom of speech “to ensure that debate does not tip over into targeted harassment or bullying.”

The Office of Civil Rights also announced that it resolved nine complaints against CUNY schools dating back to the 2019/2020 academic year, including harassment of students of Jewish, Muslim, Arab, and South Asian ancestry.

In its resolution agreement, CUNY agreed to reopen investigations into previous complaints as well as initiate investigations into other complaints. It also agreed to provide the Office of Civil Rights results of those investigations and the steps it planned to take to remediate them.

Schools in the CUNY system also resolved to increase training for both security and staff on its campuses, conduct a climate assessment, and launch a third-party review of its policies on discrimination.

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