California News: Feds to Investigate Student’s Claims of Harassment

The U.S. Department of Education will investigate the University of Southern California after a Jewish student claimed she resigned from student government because she endured harassment over her pro-Israel views.

The Associated Press reports the probe by the department’s Office for Civil Rights stems from a complaint by the Jewish advocacy nonprofit Louis D. Brandeis Center alleging the university in Los Angeles “allowed a hostile environment of anti-Semitism to proliferate on its campus,” the center said in a statement Tuesday.

The complaint was filed on behalf of Rose Ritch, who stepped down as student body vice president in August 2020. Ritch said she resigned following a campaign to remove her over her alleged lack of commitment to racial justice amid the national outcry over George Floyd’s killing and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Ritch said she faced hateful comments on social media over her support for Israel. The complaint alleges USC failed to protect Ritch from harassment.

USC said in a statement Tuesday that it has “made a number of commitments” to combat anti-Semitism, including developing partnerships with national organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Federation and the American Jewish Committee.

Posted by Jeff Lemucchi