Interim dean Robert Scott to the Columbia Law School community is allowing students to skip their finals due to the effects of the non-indictments in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases. The law school has also arranged for a trauma specialist to hold sessions for anyone interested in discussion the trauma of the recent court decisions.
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Via Power Line Blog:
The grand juries’ determinations to return non-indictments in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases have shaken the faith of some in the integrity of the grand jury system and in the law more generally. For some law students, particularly, though not only, students of color, this chain of events is all the more profound as it threatens to undermine a sense that the law is a fundamental pillar of society designed to protect fairness, due process and equality.
For these reasons, after consultation with students in the law school and with colleagues on the law faculty and in the administration, I am taking the following steps to assure our responsiveness and involvement in this particular moment:
– In recognition of the traumatic effects these events have had on some of the members of our community, Dean Greenberg-Kobrin and Yadira Ramos-Herbert, Director, Academic Counseling, have arranged to have Dr. Shirley Matthews, a trauma specialist, hold sessions next Monday and Wednesday for anyone interested in participating to discuss the trauma that recent events may have caused .
– Several members of the faculty have agreed to schedule special office hours next week to be available for students who would like support and/or would like to talk about the implications of the Brown and Garner non-indictments. These office hours will include:
Conrad Johnson – Monday, 12:00 – 2:00, Room 833
Olati Johnson – Monday, 12:00 – 4:00, Room 630
Susan Sturm – Wednesday, 2:15 – 3:15, Room 617
Katherine Franke – Monday, 1:00 – 3:00, Thursday, 9:00 – 11:00, Room 637
– I support the idea of an open community dialogue to discuss the concerns of students in the wake of recent events, and to share diverse and collective notions of injustice that these cases raise. I will encourage all members of our community to attend.
– The law school has a policy and set of procedures for students who experience trauma during exam period. In accordance with these procedures and policy, students who feel that their performance on examinations will be sufficiently impaired due to the effects of these recent events may petition Dean Alice Rigas to have an examination rescheduled.
Maybe the law professors could impart on the students the importance of following the rule of law?
Now, there’s an idea.