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Harvard Law students also demand exam delay due to Ferguson and Garner

Harvard Law students also demand exam delay due to Ferguson and Garner

“This is more than a personal emergency. This is a national emergency.”

Columbia University Law School has granted exam extensions to students who feel under stress due to the failure of Grand Juries to indict in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

Now students at my alma mater, Harvard Law School, are demanding similar treatment, as well as excoriating the HLS administration for not publicly feeling their pain.

The Coalition at Harvard Law School created a website for the exchange of letters.

I have confirmed with the Harvard Law communications office that the letters are authentic.

December 7, 2014

Dear Dean Minow and the Harvard Law School Administration:

This campus ­­ and the nation ­­ erupted in outrage when grand juries failed to indict Officers Darren Wilson and Daniel Pantaleo for the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, respectively. These recent events highlight that intolerance in America continues to cost us countless lives at the hands of law enforcement. We have no faith in our justice system, which systematically oppresses black and brown people. We are afraid for our lives and for the lives of our families. We are in pain. And we are tired.

We have been visibly distressed and actively engaged throughout this public national crisis. The administration has remained silent.

We led rallies, held vigils, and published an op­ed. You were silent on this issue. We petitioned the government, served as legal observers, created spaces of solidarity, drafted model legislation, and marched through the streets of Boston and Cambridge. You remained silent on this issue. We spent countless hours leveraging our legal educations, and utilizing our platform and privilege as students of this institution. And all we have heard from the administration is deafening silence.

Your silence denies humanity to the lives lost and minimizes the gravity of the palpable anguish looming over campus. Like many across the country, we are traumatized. Just because this racial terror is systemically reproduced and normalized through repeated fidelity to the so ­called rule of law, it does not mean the disruption is any less traumatic than a tragic bombing. The fact that you refuse to openly acknowledge this adds to our distress. Your silence is a signal that Harvard Law School is indifferent to the welfare of many of its students.

We can’t breathe.

* * *

Our choice to stand for justice rather than sit and prepare for exams is necessary in the context of a movement fighting for the lives that have been lost and continue to be at stake. This sacrifice is small. The words of Columbia Law School student leadership illustrate our sentiments: “In being asked to prepare for and take our exams in this moment, we are being asked to perform incredible acts of disassociation that have led us to question our place in this school community and the legal community at large.” You cannot require that we forego joining the country in its demand for justice, and instead dedicate our energy in this moment to understanding and replicating “the same legal maneuvers and language on our exams . . . that w[ere] used to deny justice to so many Black and Brown bodies.”

Harvard Law School has policies and procedures in place for students experiencing a personal emergency that interferes with an exam or immediate pre-­exam preparation. This is more than a personal emergency. This is a national emergency.

* * *

We need your support, and therefore, we expect the following:

* * *

2. Grant Exam Extensions

Give students the opportunity to reschedule their exams in good faith and at their own discretion between the period of December 20th and January 15th.

Delaying exams is not without precedent. In 1970, Harvard Law School faculty voted to delay all exams in response to demands by students participating in anti­war protests.

* * *

Harvard Law School Affinity Group Coalition:

Harvard Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, Executive Board
Harvard Black Law Students Association
Harvard Middle Eastern Law Students Association
Harvard Muslim Law Students Association
Harvard Native American Law Students Association
La Alianza

In support:

Harvard Law School Chapter Advocates for Human Rights
Harvard Defenders
Harvard Environmental Law Society
Harvard Journal on Racial and Ethnic Justice
Harvard Law School Feminist Coalition
Harvard Law School Justice for Palestine
Harvard Law Students for Reproductive Justice
Harvard Law Students for Sustainable Investment
Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project
Harvard Student Representative Board, Executive Officers
National Lawyers Guild
Students for Inclusion
The Harvard Asia Law Society
Unbound: Harvard Journal of the Legal Left

The same website has a response from the Dean of Students that does not address the demand for delay of exams, as well as the Coalition’s reply to the response, which reads in part:

We are particularly concerned with the lack of direct response to two of our requests:

(1) Our request for the HLS Administration to properly address the entire student body in a manner that recognizes students’ trauma as legitimate; and

(2) Our request for exam extensions for students who are traumatized by this tragedy and who have felt duty­bound to dedicate their time mobilizing for justice.

Featured image via Delores Handy


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“We can’t breathe.”

No, dears. You can’t THINK.

JackRussellTerrierist | December 8, 2014 at 5:23 pm

Flunk ’em.

There are too many lawyers already, anyway.

Oh, GROW UP you silly little children.

Exactly the kind of thinking I look for in a lawyer.

Whiny and confused.

Have a tissue.

Don’t worry, numbskulls. You are all Harvard Affirmative Action projects, you won’t get a bad grade. It would be just like colonial imperialist racism, or something.

    In 1969, at an expensive and supposedly elite and prestigious “national” law school, the professor of my Jurisprudence seminar cancelled the weekly seminars so that he and the other law students could attend protests. I objected, the dean supported me, and I had several Wednesday night one-on-one seminars with the outraged professor while all the other seminar students protested. I was the only student who wrote the required paper, and I received a “D”. The professor changed the grading for all the other students to Pass/Fail, and gave them all a pass, with my D being the only letter grade. Once again the dean supported me and required the professor to change my grade to a Pass.

From the list of aggrieved organizations at Harvard Law School, it is apparent that every leftist has been psychologically traumatized by Brown/Garner. Pathetic!

What this movement actually is, of course, is a demand for a symbolic acknowledgment by the law school of the alleged legal travesty of the failures to indict in the cases. They want Harvard Law School to, effectively, condemn the accepted legal process.

I would like to help the Harvard Administration in formulating its response to these demands.

Dear Students,

In response to your request for an exam delay, while giving due consideration, we must respond in the negative.

Firstly, we don’t show that anyone who is related to either victim as having requested bereavement exemptions.

Secondly, we fail to see how the outcomes of these 2 Grand Juries could possibly be so devastating as rising to the level of a personal crisis. The Grand Jury process is something that you are going to school to understand and possibly participate in, so why is it a National Crisis that the system worked as it is intended? You will not win every case in your legal careers and while you may disagree with the outcome this is the way the system works. As you should have learned throughout your time at this institution, our system may not be perfect, but it is better that any other system out there.

While these two persons death is of course a tragedy, the decision by a jury of peers that the two officers in question should not face trial isn’t.

Here at Harvard we not only ask our students to learn but we also ask that they mature so that they may enter the world and survive after leaving these halls. I suggest that you take a more mature look at the situation and show up on time for exams.

In closing I would like to leave you with one of my favorite quotes, from that wise one named Anonymous; “Unfortunately, the world isn’t Burger King and you can’t have it your way.”


So and So
Grand High Muckety Muck

    I like, but think it needs a little more Tough Love.

    Dear students (Those of you who signed the letter and are not students, Sod Off)

    As an educational institution with a goal of preparing you for real life, we feel that it is only proper to pass along a life lesson many of us have learned through bitter experience. In the real world, when you are feeling a little hung over, or perhaps with a touch of the flu, or even wringing your hands over a social injustice that is happening far, far away, and as a result, you decide to skip out on a critical court date or refuse to complete a task assigned to you by a senior partner, negative consequences happen. Sometimes they are quite unpleasant. Intelligent people learn from these unpleasant events. Very intelligent people learn from other people telling them.

    We believe you are very intelligent people.

    Please do not disappoint us.

    Exams will continue as scheduled.

    The Staff

When I heard the Grand Jury decision, my heart stopped beating for five minutes. I called the boss and told him I needed time off to get over the outrage. He said get your ass to work tomorrow or don’t bother coming back.

Well actually thats what happens in the real world. These ignorant self rightious babies need to grow up. Do they really need the extra time due to the grand jury results or are they just to dumb to pass any test and want more time to find ways to cheat on the exams.

How many of these losers got to harvard via Affirmative action? Unfortunately Harvard like many institutions today have been taken over by leftwing socialist. They are happy to give their fellow socialist students time to go out and destroy other peoples property.

Besides Brown and Garner, what else is going on the world?

Uh, NO, the ignorant, uninformed gullible, jerks exploded in outrage.

And these MORONS are supposedly the “best and brightest” that the Legal world has to offer?

What are these whiners going to do when they get out in the real world and have to deal with Judges and statutory deadlines that if not abided by means that their client loses by default.

Harvard Law and Columbia Law need to tell these whiners, in no uncertain terms, that the exams will not be delayed.

Their selective outrage betrays sincere consideration. I wonder how many wish that Wilson was murdered or that Garner had been an Obamacare funder. This calls into question the competence of graduates from those institutions and lawyers affiliated with the ACLU.

Make life, not abortion.

Look at the sponsors:

Harvard Native American Law Students Association

Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren, Honorary High Priestess with High Cheekbones

So we are raising the kind of lawyers who are traumatized by their own failure to educate themselves about the facts underlying a legal action?

Oboy, fresh meat!

What, Harvard hasn’t evolved beyond exams and grades yet? How quaint. Just skip the formalities and give the special little snowflakes (emphasis on “flakes”) their sheepskin, thenkyewveddymuch ~

hey! i’m too busy lying on the ground at a ‘die-in’ to do any studying !

“We are afraid for our lives and for the lives of our families.” — because the cops are roaming around looking for random “people of color” to pick off out of sheer racial animosity. Right? I mean, why else would they be afraid for their lives — or any more afraid than a white person who has to walk through a black neighborhood after dark?

Theses are supposed to be the legal minds that will carry our system forward into the future? I am afraid – very afraid!

What a bunch of tissy prissels!! They’ve got their undies in such a mess of knots even Alexander and his sword would be useless. [Harvard Law students: Google “Gordian knot” for an explanation of my Alexandrian symbolism.]

What a picture: if only a snow plow came rolling in.

A Tiananmen Square reenactment, but with the safety net of the US Constitution.

I feel sorry for their future clients.

Oh the poor delicate little dears. Perhaps they should all just go home since they are obviously far too sensitive for college life. What b.s.!

Just tell them they cAn be delayed … Until next year about this time. For the price of anger year’s admission. Plus a stupidity tax.

Dear Harvard Law & Columbia Law: Heaven forbid that you pampered wittle dawlings feel stwess or sad feeewings over Ferguson. Take the day-week-month off, Kiddies.

While you’re off de-stressing, you shameless disgusting wimps, try buying some Big Boy(and Girl)Pants,’Yo.

Or, as my Dad’s B-29 Bomb Group, the 462nd Hellbirds, slogan in the Pacific War stated: WITH MALICE TOWARD SOME.

The liberal world view construct grows increasingly fantastical, delusional even. Like a house of cards built at the waterline at low tide, it will crumble.

Insufficiently Sensitive | December 9, 2014 at 10:44 am

Just another blatant publicity stunt. Eagerly supported by media. Demonstrating that our Best and Brightest have been so well community-organized that the alleged ‘educational community’ of ‘tomorrow’s leaders’ are of one mind against local police departments in general, and white members in particular.

A mere tactic, contributing to a grand strategy of Federalizing police nationwide.

These schools promote illogical, irrational, pro-ansrchist propaganda. Thesstyle word liberal. It is real extremist propaganda under cover of liberalism. Law schools should teach logic and argument, instead they teach ideology, place students in the world of illusion and anti-american values.

Ok, so maybe I’m one of those people, but I completely understand so many people supporting this.

An extra day to study, an extra day to get prepared, or an extra day to just relax and hang out. I think they are all jumping on the bandwagon and trying to push back tests because they aren’t ready.

They’re basically using this “incident” as a reason to take advantage of the system. There isn’t any trauma or distress. It’s just college kids working the system in an extremely liberal college.

I’ve got finals next week. It would be nice to have another day or two to study, lol.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Mr. Izz. | December 9, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    Not an incident but a crisis to this bunch. This is university level teaching of their progressive principle that no crisis (real or imagined) ought to go to waste.

Belial Issimo | December 9, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Just reading that list of organizations makes me throw up a bit. It’s time to end “affinity” law student organizations and ethnic bar associations.

Those law students that are upset over the death of Michael Brown should flunk out of law school. This is proof that they lack the ability to analyse facts about a case.