How To Slash Religious Attacks on Campuses

TACTICS - Ban Projections, Enforce Rules, Prosecute, File Complaints
 
WASHINGTON - Nov. 20, 2023 - PRLog -- Because students on campus after campus are being attacked, threatened, and physically harassed by other students because of recent events in the Middle East, it is important that students, faculty, and university administrators know and use effective techniques to protect them, since simple pious and carefully worded statements are obviously not working.

Fortunately there are techniques which can prove effective in protecting students, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf, whose several suggestions have been adopted on his own campus.

For example, following the tragic events at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, he suggested GWU adopt a ban on carrying lighted torches or hiding faces behind masks during demonstrations.  Prof Banzhaf is also a former security officer and security consultant, and author of an internationally published study (https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20221011124140599) about how to protect students on campus.

The law professor has suggested that universities adopt a simple and non-controversial rule - one completely consistent with First Amendment guarantees and free speech concerns - which simply bans all projections on campus buildings, regardless of the cause or message involved.

As a second step, Banzhaf says that universities can and should begin to rigorously enforce existing rules regulating demonstrations and other protests, and those prohibiting not only attacks and physical harassment, but also even tearing down posters.

But if students who violate rules designed to protect others are immediately banned from campus and subject to very prompt expulsion hearings, as well as being reported to the police if the facts warrant, most would be very reluctant to cross the line from legitimate and protected protest to criminal conduct threatening others.

Banzhaf also notes that the Department of Education has announced that it will investigate schools, and possibly put them at risk of losing federal funding, if they receive complaints of incidents of Antisemitism and Islamophobia.  At least six schools  - Lafayette College, Cornell University, Columbia University, Wellesley, Cooper Union, and the University of Pennsylvania - are already under such investigation.

As a third remedy, Banzhaf suggests that students and faculty at affected schools file a complaint with the Department by following its simple procedures (https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/howto.html).  He notes that not only victims, but other who witness or become aware of an incident can file, so students who feel they must be anonymous can seek the assistance of a sympathetic professor to file for them.

His own experience shows that universities against whom formal complaints are filed, or even if there is only a threat to file a complaint, often find this sufficient motivation to begin enforcing rules, protecting innocent students, and more strictly complying with the law.

http://banzhaf.net/   jbanzhaf3ATgmail.com   @profbanzhaf

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