US Commission on Civil Rights

Public Education Campaign to End Campus Anti-Semitism

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Depending on the nature of the incident, it is frequently most effective to begin by reporting the matter to the appropriate persons within your institution. You may wish to notify your campus administration and faculty and, in cases of possible criminal activity or concerns about safety, the campus police department.


In some cases, you may also want to contact the local police department, state and local civil rights agencies, private organizations, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, the U.S. Department of Education  Office for Civil Rights and/or the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Educational Opportunities Section.


It is important to remember that the Office for Civil Rights´┐Ż jurisdiction is based on ancestry or ethnic characteristics, since it does not have jurisdiction to investigate claims of religious discrimination per se. Hon. Stephanie Monroe, Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights, has recently stated that the Office for Civil Rights will not investigate allegations of anti-Semitic harassment unless the allegations also include other forms of discrimination over which the Office for Civil Rights has subject matter jurisdiction.


If you believe that your rights have been violated, it is important that you report the incident without delay. The statute of limitations  restricts the period of time available to you to file a complaint. In some instances, you may also wish to seek the advice of an attorney or local legal services provider.


If you or someone you know has experienced anti-Semitism on your campus, federal and/or state  laws such as anti-discrimination statutes, hate crimes  statutes, or hate speech laws may offer protection and relief from such harassment.


If you are comfortable, you may wish to put your complaint in writing. This serves to document that a complaint was made, when it was made, and to whom.