27 October 2010
The US federal government has adopted measures to fight bullying of Jewish students on campuses. New federal guidelines enacted by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan are to increase the protection of Jewish students from anti-Semitism. Duncan issued a letter on Tuesday that in effect applies Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to the protection of Jewish students from anti-Semitism on campuses. Under the new US Department of Education guidelines, the new Civil Rights Act can be invoked if anti-Jewish behavior is considered to be based on shared ethnic characteristics.
Title VI prohibits discrimination based on "race, color or national origin", but does not include religion. Two Democratic Congressmen, Rep. Brad Sherman and Sen. Arlen Specter, last month introduced a bill that would amend the Civil Rights Actto also include religion. In a statement following the release of the guidelines, Sherman declared: "The policy is now clear: colleges and universities will no longer be permitted to turn a blind eye when Jewish students face severe and persistent anti-Semitic hostility on their campuses. The schools will now be compelled to respond."
The Department of Education also announced that it would use Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender, to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act to protect students with disabilities from harassment on campus.
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