National Black Harvard law students claim school was unhelpful in investigating anonymous harassers

The Harvard Black Law Students Association released a statement on Friday saying their school “woefully failed to act” after black students received threatening messages.

What We Know:

  • Four first-year law students reported receiving messages like, “We all hate u”, ”you know you don’t belong here”, and “you’re just here because of affirmative action,” CBS reported.
  • The messages were sent between December 2018 and March 2019. The students reported that they received the messages from two unknown Gmail accounts and “retailer display phones”.
  • Chris Volcy, one of the recipients of the hateful messages told Buzzfeed she felt “unsafe and uncomfortable going to class.”
Chris Volcy
  • Another student, Chelsea Rooney, stated, “I think it was our duty as students to bring this forward. It would have been really irresponsible for us to receive these messages, know that someone is exhibiting really bizarre behavior, and not say anything.”
  • The students believed the messages were sent by a racist classmate, but claim school administrators did little to remedy the situation.
  • Months after the messages were sent, HLS opened an investigation and hired a third-party firm, Hogan Lovells, to assist in finding the perpetrator. Two months later, the students recieved word that the school was “unable to establish the sender(s) of the threatening messages.”
  • A Harvard Law School spokesman said, “Sadly, the realities of technology sometimes permit those who commit such acts to evade detection, and we are disappointed that we were unable to identify who is responsible despite our efforts along multiple fronts.” This definitely wasn’t the response the group was looking for.

  • Another issue they had with the investigation was that no information that was uncovered was shared with them.

  • Marcia Sells, Harvard Law School Dean of Students, said, “For reasons of student privacy and confidentiality reflected in federal law and HLS practice, Harvard Law School will not publicly disclose details of investigations.” She added that the school continues to “condemn in the strongest terms any communication or action that is intended to demean people.”

  • The group expressed their dissatisfaction with the investigation saying, “Now, more than seven months since the first hateful message was sent, the sender of this message remains unidentified and free to continue harassing Black and women students, meanwhile the targeted students have been left to continue fearing for their safety.”

It must be very scary to know that this person is still out there. Hopefully, the sender’s identity will be revealed.