A professor at George Washington University is under investigation by the institution for allegedly violating the civil rights of her Jewish students following reports that she demonstrated a pattern of antisemitic behavior in the classroom.
According to a student interviewed by the Washington Free Beacon, Dr. Lara Sheehi, an assistant professor of clinical psychology, had students go around the room to introduce themselves on the first day of class last fall. When one of the students shared that she was born in Jerusalem, Sheehi reportedly responded, “it’s not your fault you were born in Israel.”
Throughout the semester, the instructor’s disdain for Israel and her Jewish students continued. She invited a radical antisemite, Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, to deliver a guest lecture on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Students say that the guest speaker played into Jewish stereotypes and claimed that the Israeli military uses Palestinian children as test subjects for its weaponry. Students also reported that the professor would target their Jewish identities during class discussions and slander them behind their backs in discussions with other faculty members.
In a 2020 tweet responding to the Israel Defense Forces, Sheehi wrote, “FUCK YOU AND FUCK YOUR ‘AID’. Destroy Zionism and commit to land back, then we’ll take you seriously you fucking genocidal fucks. Fuck you.” She has since deleted her Twitter account.
Sheehi’s LinkedIn profile states that she was recently elected president of the Society for Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Psychology, a division of the American Psychological Association.
In the “about” section of her page, she describes her work on “race and white supremacy, decolonial struggles,” and “power configurations in class and gender constructs and dynamics within Psychoanalysis.” Sheehi also notes that she “practices from a trans-inclusive feminist and liberation theory model.”
StandWithUs, an international organization dedicated to ending antisemitism, worked with Sheehi’s Jewish students to file a complaint with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.
“StandWithUs is proud to support the courageous students who have spoken out about the antisemitic treatment they have endured. By holding those at George Washington and its Professional Psychology Program accountable, we hope the school reaffirms its commitment to guaranteeing all students an environment free from discrimination, retaliation, and bigoted attacks based on their identity,” the organization said in a statement shared with Young America’s Foundation.
According to a directory of pending cases on the federal agency’s website, it has yet to open its own investigation into the complaint.