Investigations against Three University of California Schools Closed  

Anaheim, CA:  The California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic relations (CAIR-CA), along with other civil rights groups, has welcomed news that the Department of Education's (DOE) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has closed investigations against three University of California schools, at Berkeley, Santa Cruz, and Irvine, which falsely alleged that Palestinian rights activism created an anti-Semitic climate. 
SEE: US Dismisses anti-semitism complaints against UC Berkeley  
 The complaints underlying the investigation claimed that student protests and academic programming in support of Palestinian rights and critical of Israel "created a hostile environment for Jewish students."
"This is a victory for student free speech," said CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area Executive Director Zahra Billoo. “We hope that students who exercise their First Amendment right to advocate for human rights and social justice will continue to do so on their college campuses without fear or intimidation.”
 Alongside attorneys from Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus (ALC), the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), CAIR-CA advocated for the students whose activism was scrutinized in the investigations.
 SEE: DOE Letter, Dismissing Complaint, to UC Berkeley
DOE Letter, Dismissing Complaint, to UC Santa Cruz
 The Berkeley complaint was filed in July 2012 by two attorneys who had previously filed an unsuccessful federal lawsuit on similar grounds. The Berkeley investigation was the latest of the three to be opened; the Santa Cruz investigation was opened in March 2011, and the Irvine investigation in 2007.
 CAIR-CA, along with a number of legal and advocacy groups, has worked to challenge the misuse of civil rights law to intimidate students and dissuade them from advocating for Palestinian rights on campus.
 SEE: Civil Rights Groups Say Department of Education Investigations are Politicized, Chill Student Speech

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