Left-wing instructors withhold students’ grades to force colleges to agree to demands of anti-Israel protesters

Left-wing instructors withhold students’ grades to force colleges to agree to demands of anti-Israel protesters
Pro-Hamas demonstration at George Mason University

Having failed to persuade college officials to agree to their proposals, anti-Israel faculty are now try to coerce them to do so, by holding students’ grades hostage. Professors and graduate teaching assistants are refusing to give students their grades “as a means to strong-arm university leaders into acquiescing to activists’ anti-Israel demands,” reports The College Fix:

The tactic is called a “grade strike.” “About 100 graduate student workers and faculty are threatening to withhold final grades until NYU agrees to remove New York City Police Department officers from campus, pardon pro-Palestinian ‘students, faculty, and graduate workers,’ facing disciplinary action and ‘substantively negotiate,’ with student protesters over their demands.”

A representative for the strike said in an interview with WSN that it “could bring things to a halt, and hopefully force them to come to the table and actually talk about demands.” In a flier, organizers of the grade strike listed their demands, which included amnesty for all students suspended for their involvement in NYU’s recent anti-Israel encampment….the number “shot up” following the breaking up of the encampment.

At UNC-Chapel Hill, a similar grade strike started in solidarity with the arrested demonstrators, and many faculty members and graduate assistants said they would participate.

One graduate assistant sent a message to students explaining that grades were being withheld to show solidarity with the demonstrators who were arrested…“In solidarity with these students, and to pressure the University Administration to reinstate the suspended students, I (along with many other faculty, teaching assistants, fellows, and graders across campus) have decided to withhold my reporting of final grades to the Registrar’s Office,” the assistant wrote to students.

Protesters occupied key areas of many college campuses for weeks in encampments that blocked the path of regular students and staff who were not part of the protests. They did so in violation of college rules, but it took weeks for them to be arrested. When private colleges asked police to remove protest encampments that ignored repeated college requests to leave, progressive city governments sometimes refused to let police remove them, even when most of the protesters were not students and got into altercations with students and staff. The cities did this even though the Supreme Court has ruled that protesters do not have a right to camp out even on public property devoted to public use, like national parks, in Clark v. Community for Creative Non-Violence (1984).

Left-wing protesters were treated much better than right-wing oddballs who have gotten speedily kicked off campus or investigated by police, even when they didn’t make much noise or interfere with college operations. The black podcaster Coleman Hughes points to one example of the banning from campus of a silly white student who said things like “I don’t hate other people. I just love white men” and “white people are the best…”

Multiple colleges — including a state university — got the police to investigate after people posted flyers saying “It’s OK to Be White” or “Huzzah for Dixie,” even though such speech was protected by the First Amendment under court rulings like Levin v. Harleston (1992) and Iota Xi Chapter v. George Mason University (1993), as law professors like Eugene Volokh noted.

The president of Western Connecticut State University threatened the unknown persons who posted flyers saying “It’s OK to Be White”, saying that they would face the “severest disciplinary actions, including dismissal as well as possible civil and criminal actions.” The university said its officials immediately reported the flyers to local and state police and the FBI office in New Haven, all of whom were investigating who made the flyers.

When someone posted non-threatening confederate-flag flyers saying “Huzzah for Dixie” at American University in 2017, the local FBI office investigated the flyers as if the First Amendment did not exist, at the request of the university. Law enforcement investigated the speech, even though courts in Washington, DC had ruled that far worse, blatantly racist speech was protected by the First Amendment. (See, e.g., United States v. Popa (1999)).

The favoritism by progressive city governments toward left-wing anti-Israel protesters violated the First Amendment. According to the Supreme Court, the government cannot favor certain kinds of protests over others. (See Police Department v. Mosley (1972)).

LU Staff

LU Staff

Promoting and defending liberty, as defined by the nation’s founders, requires both facts and philosophical thought, transcending all elements of our culture, from partisan politics to social issues, the workings of government, and entertainment and off-duty interests. Liberty Unyielding is committed to bringing together voices that will fuel the flame of liberty, with a dialogue that is lively and informative.


For your convenience, you may leave commments below using Disqus. If Disqus is not appearing for you, please disable AdBlock to leave a comment.