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Department of Education to investigate Harvard in possible discrimination probe

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The Department of Education (DOE) has launched an investigation into Harvard University over claims of antisemitism on its campus.

The department launched its inquiry into the Massachusetts-based Ivy League institution on Tuesday, according to a listing on the federal agency’s website. 

DOE’s inquiry into Harvard stems from a complaint that alleged the school discriminated against Jewish and Israeli students when it failed to respond to initial reports of harassment incidents last month stemming from the Israel-Hamas war, according to a letter from the department seen by the Boston Globe. 

According to federal law, discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin is prohibited at schools that receive federal funding.

The move comes weeks after the department released a list of higher education and K-12 institutions that are under investigation for alleged shared ancestry violations as a part of the Biden administration’s effort to address reports of rising discrimination in schools. 

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Harvard is one of the many institutions, school districts and school departments mentioned on the list. 

A DOE spokesperson confirmed to The Hill its investigation into Harvard, but noted that “the Office for Civil Rights does not discuss the details of its current investigations.”

Antisemitism on college campuses has been a hot topic since Hamas’s unprovoked attack against Israel last month, with major colleges and universities such as Harvard receiving criticism for its responses to antisemitic incidents happening on its campuses. 

Harvard President Claudine Gay, along with the University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill and Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Sally Kornbluth, were called Tuesday to testify before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce about antisemitism on college campuses next week. 

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Source: The Hill

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