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Jewish students sue Cooper Union over tense pro-Palestinian rally in October

Cooper Union sued by group of Jewish students after tense pro-Palestinian rally
Cooper Union sued by group of Jewish students after tense pro-Palestinian rally 00:54

NEW YORK -- A group of students have filed a lawsuit against Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art after a tense pro-Palestinian rally at the school last October.

Jewish students say they felt unsafe and had to lock themselves in the college's library when protesters banged on doors and windows and chanted outside.

The plaintiffs' attorney says the lawsuit is to force Cooper Union to comply with anti-discrimination law as well as their own policies.

"Their policies provide that they will have a safe environment that's non-discriminatory for their students, for all students, and Jewish students have a right to an education that's safe, not hostile and free from discrimination and harassment, and they're not getting that," attorney Ziporah Reich said.

Back in October, NYPD officials said officers were on campus for the duration of the rally at the school's request and that students were not barricaded inside the library.

"For about, roughly, 10 minutes... They were banging on the doors of the library and banging on some transparent windows that you see into the library. From that point, the protesters left," one NYPD official said.  

Cooper Union officials told CBS New York they "decline to comment on the pending litigation."

The school is one of several nationwide being investigated by the United States Department of Education for incidents of alleged antisemitism and Islamophobia on campus. The DOE is trying to determine if the schools violated their legal obligations under Title 6 of the Civil Rights Act to provide students a school environment free from discrimination based on race, color or national origin.

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