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NYS proposes expulsion for students convicted of hate crimes

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In response to a surge in antisemitic incidents on college campuses, New York State Senator Jim Tedisco, a Republican, has introduced legislation that could lead to the expulsion of SUNY and CUNY students convicted of hate crimes.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

The bill underscores that while freedom of speech is a right, engaging in antisemitic or racist behavior, especially in state-funded educational institutions, is unacceptable. This legislative action comes amid reports by the Anti-Defamation League of a 400% increase in antisemitic incidents in the U.S. following the Israel-Hamas conflict, including 54 incidents on college campuses.

Senator Tedisco’s proposed bill aims to enhance New York State’s Hate Crimes Law by adding a penalty clause. “Taxpayers’ dollars should not be used to support the education of individuals who engage in extremism and call for violence,” Tedisco stated, emphasizing the need to maintain a safe and inclusive environment on college campuses. Governor Kathy Hochul has also ordered an investigation into antisemitic incidents in CUNY schools, reflecting growing concerns about campus safety and discrimination.

The bill, titled the “Dismantling Student Antisemitism Act” (DSA Act), mandates antisemitism awareness and Jewish history seminars for all New York college students. It also requires these seminars to be conducted by experts in the field. Furthermore, the proposal includes state aid penalties for educational institutions that fail to comply with these measures. NY Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay (R) highlighted the irony of antisemitic acts occurring in environments that claim to be open-minded, underscoring the need for such educational initiatives.