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Governor DeSantis re-ups offer for Jewish students to transfer to Florida schools

Governor Ron DeSantis in Tampa.
Governor Ron DeSantis Facebook Screenshot
Governor Ron DeSantis in Tampa.

Governor Ron DeSantis is calling on Jewish students and other students who feel unsafe on their college campus during Pro-Palestine rallies to come to Florida schools.

In January, the governor ordered state colleges and universities to waive certain transfer application requirements for Jewish students experiencing antisemitism as a result of the Israel-Hamas War.

The governor said he’s re-upping the offer after Jewish students on the Columbia University campus were harassed.

“I think you're going to see some of these students and some of these schools say, you know what, the hell with it? Why would I want to put myself through that and be targeted by these rage mobs on campus? I can come to Florida, and actually know that I can study in a good environment and be treated with respect,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis said it’s unclear how many students will transfer to Florida schools as a result of these protests.

“So I think you're gonna start to see a lot of people take us up on that offer, we won't know until the fall semester, but we're a much different environment and people are noticing that and what we're doing is the right thing to do,” DeSantis said.

The rallies have largely been peaceful, but tensions blur the lines between political speech and antisemitism.

Last week the governor said Florida students who harassed Jewish students at rallies for Gaza would be expelled.

So far, 12 students have been arrested at Florida schools for protesting the war in Gaza on the University of Florida and the University of South Florida campuses.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.
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