Watch CBS News

U.S. Education Secretary visits Towson University amid rising anti-Semitism concerns on campuses

Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona takes steps to counter antisemitism in Towson
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona takes steps to counter antisemitism in Towson 03:31

BALTIMORE -- The U.S. Secretary of Education paid a visit to Towson University Thursday, to listen to area college students about the rise of anti-Semitism on college campuses. 

Incidents have grown over the past couple of weeks in light of the overseas conflict between Israel and the militant group Hamas.

On the campus of Towson University, college life is expected to be about fun and education. However, with the current Middle East conflict, some have been divided as anti-Semitism has emerged.

For one Towson student, an unsettling incident occurred just last week. 

"They were yelling at us. They proceeded to yell at the rabbi, his wife, and other Jewish students. About ten minutes after the incident, they followed another Jewish student to class and started to harass her before a test," the student recounted.

Such incidents have prompted U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and White House Domestic Policy Advisor Neera Tanden to launch an anti-Semitism awareness campaign. 

"I'm not Jewish, but I'm appalled and horrified by what I'm hearing across the country, and I want to tell you directly - we've got your back, and we're not going to allow that to happen," Cardona said.

As leaders seek solutions, the situation for students like Sarah Louis, who is Latina and Jewish, has become fraught with fear for her faith and ethnicity. 

"Universities around the country are not shutting this down, and I beg the Department of Education to intervene at a federal level to pressure these institutions to address these hateful protests that turn violent against students," said Sarah Louis.

"We cannot normalize this. We all need to be alarmed," Cardona added.

Secretary Cardona is looking to shape policies to protect Jewish students nationwide. 

Suggestions from Towson students to the U.S. Secretary include issuing guidance to school administrations on combating and condemning anti-Semitism and dismantling anonymous forums that foster hate speech and bigotry, which sometimes lead to violence.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.