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Category: Education

The media should be celebrating college protesters instead of demonizing them

The media should be celebrating college protesters instead of demonizing them

Dan Froomkin writes: Mainstream-media reporters covering the growing wave of college protests against Israel’s war in Gaza have adopted an overwhelmingly negative tone about something they should be celebrating: the peaceful free expression of college students understandably devastated by the pulverizing of Gaza and the slaughter of over 34,000 Palestinians by the Israeli military. The root cause of this journalistic dysfunction is that too many reporters have embraced the toxic presumption that any anti-Gaza-war protest is inherently antisemitic, and that…

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We visited the solidarity encampment at Columbia University. Here’s what it’s really like

We visited the solidarity encampment at Columbia University. Here’s what it’s really like

New York City Council Members Tiffany Cabán, Alexa Avilés, Shahana Hanif, and Sandy Nurse write: If you only go by the recent statements from Mayor Eric Adams, Gov. Kathy Hochul, and President Joe Biden, you might conclude that a student protest against the mass killing in Gaza is worse than the killing itself. These official statements, and so many posts on social media, depict the Gaza Solidarity Encampment on the Columbia University campus as a cesspit of antisemitic hatred and…

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Pro-Palestinian encampments and protests spread on college campuses across the U.S.

Pro-Palestinian encampments and protests spread on college campuses across the U.S.

NPR reports: Tensions are growing on U.S. college campuses, as the pro-Palestinian demonstrations that have rocked New York-area schools in recent days — and the ensuing arrests of participants — spread from coast to coast. Students have launched protests and encampments at more than a dozen schools across the country, from Massachusetts to Michigan to California. They are calling for an end both to the Israel-Hamas war and their universities’ investment in companies that profit from it or, more broadly,…

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Protests at Columbia, Yale, and many other campuses across the U.S.

Protests at Columbia, Yale, and many other campuses across the U.S.

Bruce Robbins, the Old Dominion Foundation Professor in the Humanities at Columbia, writes: When Minouche Shafik, the president of Columbia University, testified before the House of Representatives on 17 April, she didn’t fall into the traps set a few months earlier for the presidents of Penn, MIT and Harvard, two of whom are now gone. They had been asked whether they would permit genocidal talk against the Jews on their campuses – a dark discourse that lurked, according to the…

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How the Democratic party is hurting itself by betraying young voters and failing to defend free speech

How the Democratic party is hurting itself by betraying young voters and failing to defend free speech

The New York Times reports: It’s a nightmare scenario for Democrats: Protesters disrupt their convention this summer; they clash with the police; chaos seems to take hold. It may not be imaginary. As protests over Israel’s war in Gaza continue to intensify, especially on college campuses, activists are preparing to be in Chicago this summer for the Democratic National Convention. The very idea sends some Democrats right back to 1968, when their convention, also in Chicago, was overshadowed by infighting…

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Columbia University protests and the lessons of ‘Gym Crow’

Columbia University protests and the lessons of ‘Gym Crow’

Judd Legum writes: In the early morning hours of April 30, 1968, then-Columbia University President Grayson Kirk summoned the NYPD to arrest hundreds of student protestors. About 1,000 police officers arrived on campus and, wielding nightsticks, violently arrested about 700 students. Almost 150 protesters ended up in the hospital with lacerations, a few broken bones, and other injuries. The student protesters had occupied several university buildings, forcing the school to suspend classes, in protest of Columbia’s plans to build a…

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Columbia University faces full-blown crisis as rabbi calls for Jewish students to ‘return home’

Columbia University faces full-blown crisis as rabbi calls for Jewish students to ‘return home’

CNN reports: Columbia University is facing a full-blown crisis heading into Passover as a rabbi linked to the Ivy League school urged Jewish students to stay home and tense confrontations on campus sparked condemnation from the White House and New York officials. The atmosphere is so charged that Columbia officials announced students can attend classes and even possibly take exams virtually starting Monday – the first day of Passover, a major Jewish holiday set to begin in the evening. Tensions…

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Columbia University is colluding with the far-right in its attack on students

Columbia University is colluding with the far-right in its attack on students

Moira Donegan writes: The students sat on the ground and sang as police in riot gear approached them. Eventually, more than 100 of them would be arrested; their tents, protest signs and Palestinian flags were gathered into trash bags by the police and thrown away. One video showed officers and university maintenance workers destroying food that had been donated to the encampment, making sure it would be inedible. According to student journalists reporting from WKCR, Columbia University’s student radio station,…

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Inside the Gaza solidarity encampment at Columbia University

Inside the Gaza solidarity encampment at Columbia University

Lara-Nour Walton writes: Around 4 AM on Wednesday, hundreds of Columbia University students set up tents on the East Butler lawn, establishing what they called a “Gaza Solidarity Encampment” in protest of the university’s role in helping fund the war in Gaza. The occupation, organized by the Columbia University Apartheid Divest coalition (CUAD), Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), had been planned for months. The encampment was an escalation of previous pro-Palestine actions, designed…

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The terrible costs of a phone-based childhood

The terrible costs of a phone-based childhood

Jonathan Haidt writes: Something went suddenly and horribly wrong for adolescents in the early 2010s. By now you’ve likely seen the statistics: Rates of depression and anxiety in the United States—fairly stable in the 2000s—rose by more than 50 percent in many studies from 2010 to 2019. The suicide rate rose 48 percent for adolescents ages 10 to 19. For girls ages 10 to 14, it rose 131 percent. The problem was not limited to the U.S.: Similar patterns emerged around the same…

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PragerU is a conservative video giant. Here’s why it’s trying to get into schools

PragerU is a conservative video giant. Here’s why it’s trying to get into schools

NPR reports: Despite the suggestive sound of its name, PragerU is not a university. It’s a content creator. The conservative media nonprofit makes short, well-produced videos crafted to appeal to college students and young people. It has polished animations and titles like “What Radical Islam and the Woke Have in Common” and “Is There Really a Climate Emergency?” Recently, news headlines have focused on its PragerU Kids content. Arizona recently became the latest state where education officials have embraced online…

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Harvard students file civil rights complaint over harassment for Palestinian advocacy

Harvard students file civil rights complaint over harassment for Palestinian advocacy

Middle East Eye reports: Students at Harvard University submitted a civil rights complaint against the institution on Monday, claiming that it failed to provide adequate support or protection to students facing harassment due to their Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim identities or for advocating for Palestinian rights. The complaint was filed by the Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA) and nearly a dozen students, including Muslim students and others who have reported experiencing harassment for their pro-Palestine stance during protests on…

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Gen Z never learned to read cursive

Gen Z never learned to read cursive

Drew Gilpin Faust writes: It was a good book, the student told the 14 others in the undergraduate seminar I was teaching, and it included a number of excellent illustrations, such as photographs of relevant Civil War manuscripts. But, he continued, those weren’t very helpful to him, because of course he couldn’t read cursive. Had I heard him correctly? Who else can’t read cursive? I asked the class. The answer: about two-thirds. And who can’t write it? Even more. What…

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The real reasons the GOP suddenly pretended to care about Harvard

The real reasons the GOP suddenly pretended to care about Harvard

Will Bunch writes: The true meaning of Claudine Gay’s ouster can be seen in a story that’s gotten zero coverage in the New York Times or the rest of the mainstream media. At Louisiana State University, whose undergraduate enrollment of just under 29,000 is exactly four times that of Harvard, the looming arrival of a new right-wing GOP governor across town in Baton Rouge has sparked a quiet but significant effort to dismantle diversity efforts and kill anti-racism education in…

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The ‘bully’ billionaire who led calls for Claudine Gay’s Harvard exit

The ‘bully’ billionaire who led calls for Claudine Gay’s Harvard exit

The Guardian reports: Chief among the campaigners celebrating the resignation of Claudine Gay as president of Harvard University was a man who arguably did the most to push Gay, Harvard’s first Black president, out the door: Bill Ackman, a billionaire hedge-fund manager and Harvard alumnus. Ackman, who accused Gay of antisemitism and plagiarism, was a major player in what increasingly became a rightwing campaign against the Harvard president – who said many of the attacks against her were “fueled by…

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Powerful donors managed to push out Harvard’s Claudine Gay. But at what cost?

Powerful donors managed to push out Harvard’s Claudine Gay. But at what cost?

Robert Reich writes: [For major donors] to use their influence to force the ouster of these university presidents is an abuse of power. It sets a dangerous precedent of mega-donor intrusion into university life. It endangers the autonomy of America’s universities to determine for themselves how to strike the right balance between freedom of expression and hateful speech. The core problem is that one of the major jobs of today’s university presidents is to solicit money. Even at Harvard, whose…

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