Columbia Law School students, who have been having a challenging time dealing with the aftermath of Ferguson and the Eric Garner case, have been permitted to postpone taking their final exams.
The school’s dean Robert E. Scott sent out an email that was eventually leaked to the public, and in it, he states that his decision is in line with the policy already in place.
The law school has a policy and a 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.”
Sounds perfectly reasonable and considerate. But not everyone is convinced that this is a valid course of action. A blog dedicated to all things conservative featured the Dean’s email in a piece titled “Not A Parody” in an effort to mock the so-called students who dare to be horrified by the notion that innocent Back men can be gunned down in cold blood for no apparent reason – and their killers vindicated for their actions.
But the Dean is standing by the decision give students they space and time they need to properly assess their thoughts and emotions. “For some law students, particularly, though not only, students of color, this chain of events is all 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.”
Still, there are some who don’t understand the benefits or relevance of giving students the option to postpone exams due to their sensitivity to societal strife.
Law professor David Rudenstine, pointes out to the New York Times, that this isn’t typical of law schools, “Law Schools also have a tradition of being very tough-minded about these things, If you have an exam, it happens. That’s the schedule.”
That might be – but any institution that chooses to satisfy the mental health of their students above all else should be lauded and replicated.