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UNC Under Fire After Professors Threaten To Hold Grades Hostage In Solidarity With Hamas

The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill confirmed reports of professors punishing students by refusing to submit grades.


The University of North Carolina is facing criticism after instructors announced they would withhold grades from students until the school reinstated individuals suspended for pro-Palestinian demonstrations on campus.

On Monday, the university at Chapel Hill confirmed reports of professors punishing students by refusing to submit grades unless the school administration ends suspensions of those who engaged in protests last week. Nick Craig, a local radio host in Wilmington, North Carolina, published a screenshot of a professor’s message to students about holding their grades hostage.

“The University has suspended 15 of your and my fellow students for their participation in a peaceful protest calling for UNC to divest funding for Israel’s military action against civilians in Gaza,” said the unnamed teacher. “In solidarity with these students, I (along with many other faculty, teaching assistants, fellows, and graders across campus) have decided to withhold my reporting of final grades to the Registrar’s Office.”

In a joint statement to The Federalist, UNC-Chapel Hill Provost Chris Clemens and Graduate School Dean Beth Mayer-Davis confirmed the anonymous report posted on X.

“We are hearing concerns from students whose instructors have informed them they will withhold grades as part of a protest,” they said. “These students depend on the timely submission of their grades for graduation, jobs, and athletic eligibility, and it is part of the required duties of all faculty and graduate TAs to submit grades by the registrar deadlines.”

The administrators said, “The provost’s office will support sanctions for any instructor who is found to have improperly withheld grades, but [it] is our hope we can resolve this matter amicably and without harm to students.”

UNC faced immediate controversy over faculty threats to withhold grades in solidarity with pro-Palestinian demonstrators, with users on X demanding officials fire instructors participating in the pressure campaign. The school refused to reveal the names of those involved.

Demonstrations supporting the Iranian-backed terrorist group defending the Gaza Strip drew national attention last week when members of a school fraternity protected an American flag torn down by terrorist sympathizers. A GoFundMe page set up for the UNC-Chapel Hill chapter of Pi Kappa Phi to reward the brothers with a party raised more than half a million in donations a week later.

“Commie losers across the country have invaded college campuses to make dumb demands of weak University Administrators,” the crowdsourced fundraising page reads. “But amidst the chaos, the screaming, the anti-semitism, the hatred of faith and flag, stood a platoon of American heroes.”

According to The New York Post, three dozen pro-Hamas demonstrators were arrested in campus demonstrations last week at UNC. On Monday, more than 700 school faculty delivered a petition to university leadership demanding students who were suspended over protests be reinstated and granted amnesty.

Pro-Hamas sit-ins or encampments have been reported across at least 120 universities, causing some to grapple with whether to hold spring commencement ceremonies. Officials at Columbia University, which became the epicenter of the latest antisemitic outbreak last month, announced Monday the school would cancel the traditional grand ceremony for graduates after weeks of sustained protests. Columbia’s decision follows the University of Southern California’s announcement in April to do the same.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that activists have prepared for these demonstrations for months with trainings planned and funded by left-wing groups, some of which have been affiliated with the Communist Party.

“At Columbia University, in the weeks and months before police took down encampments at the New York City campus and removed demonstrators occupying an academic building, student organizers began consulting with groups such as the National Students for Justice in Palestine, veterans of campus protests and former Black Panthers,” read the Journal. “Though there isn’t a centralized command overseeing the student movement opposing Israel’s invasion of Gaza, there are connections between longstanding far-left groups and the protesters.”

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