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Prestigious Law School Apparently Letting Students Request Exam Reschedules If They've Been Traumatized by These Courtroom Decisions


"In recognition of the traumatic effects these events have had on some of the members of our community..."

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Columbia Law School is reportedly letting students ask to have exams rescheduled if they've been "sufficiently impaired" by the "traumatic effects" of the non-indictments handed down by grand juries in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases, according to Powerline Blog.

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Powerline, which is run by attorneys, published text it said was a message from interim dean Robert Scott to the law school community:

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.

The message also noted special office hours by faculty, discussion and support groups, and a future speaker series to deal the non-indictments. But the biggie reads as follows:

- 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.

Powerline Blog wrote that it was told the exam rescheduling requests were the "essence of what the black students association asked for." The blog added that "anyone so unstable as to be incapable of preparing for and taking exams due to grand jury proceedings not involving themselves or their families should be given an indefinite leave of absence in which to get better."

TheBlaze on Sunday contacted Columbia Law School's press officer by phone and email for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

This story has been updated.

(H/T: Weasel Zippers)

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