Three Jewish students at New York University sued the school Tuesday, claiming it failed to protect students from “blatant” anti-Semitism that has worsened since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas.
The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan federal court, claims the university administration must take action under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color or national origin.
“For years, NYU – fully aware of shameful and ongoing acts of anti-Jewish bigotry – responded with, at best, deliberate indifference, refusing to enforce its own anti-discrimination and good conduct policies,” according to the complaint .
The explosion of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia on college campuses has sparked renewed interest in whether students can use Title VI to force universities to take stronger measures to protect them. President Joe Biden’s administration has pledged to use the law in the face of threats and violence on campus.
The students filed the lawsuit amid fierce criticism of administrators at schools including Harvard, Columbia, Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania.