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George Washington U Again Violating Guaranteed Free Speech Rights - Hearing FRIDAY
Palestinian Students Face Expulsion; GW Under Investigation by D.C for Illegal Discrimination
According to a statement, Students for Justice in Palestine and its members must attend a disciplinary hearing because of a protest a small number staged outside GWU's Hillel building.
They maintain that they followed all applicable GWU rules, although it's hard to see how students can face expulsion for something which happened on the street outside the building, regardless of what they said or chanted, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf of GWU's Law School.
He notes that the DC Office of Human Rights has already charged GWU with illegal discrimination based upon national origin based as a result of a formal legal complaint filed by Palestine Legal.
Banzhaf also noted that GWU apparently violated the rights of another Palestinian student when it ordered him - after receiving complaints from a few other students - not to display the Palestinian flag.
More recently, GWU was forced to retreat when it sought to investigate and discipline students, apparently Chinese, who had put up posters protesting China's human rights record; even though such an investigation could put the students and even their family members at considerable risk of retaliation from the Chinese government.
Earlier, GWU had suspended and was about to expel a student for briefly displaying an ancient religious symbol which briefly offended another student, and effectively banned any displays of a symbol sacred to four major religions.
Professor Banzhaf managed to halt the expulsion - although, by then, most of the damage had already occurred, by organizing threats of a law suits based upon religious discrimination, world-wide condemnation of GWU's actions, and even a campaign to slash donations to the university based upon its outrageous conduct.
Sometime, says the law professor, a law suit is the only effect way to fight back.
He notes that a jury recently imposed a whopping $500,000 verdict in punitive damages, in addition to a verdict of $145,000 for compensatory damages for harm actually suffered, against Auburn University for retaliating against a tenured professor for voicing concerns about a university policy.