In the message, Farmer told students they can receive extra credit by attending "an applicable event" that "relates to class conversations/themes" and then write a 250-word reflection that ties the event to a course reading.(Obtained by Fox News Digital)
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A professor at the University of Virginia appears to be offering extra credit to students who attend a discussion about how to "stand in solidarity with Palestinians resisting occupation" Thursday night.
According to a screenshot obtained by Fox News Digital, Tessa Farmer, an associate professor of global studies and anthropology at UVA, sent a message to students on Oct. 12 to promote an event hosted by Students for Justice in Palestine, advertised as a "[teach-in] and demonstration about the current situation in Gaza, the events and history that led to this moment, and a discussion about how we can [stand] in solidarity with Palestinians resisting occupation."
In the message, Farmer told students they can receive extra credit by attending "an applicable event" that "relates to class conversations/themes" and then write a 250-word reflection that ties the event to a course reading.
The message has caught the attention of Republican Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares, who is "very concerned" and "looking into it," according to a spokesperson.
The professor later sent a subsequent message to her students, which was forwarded to Fox News Digital by a UVA spokesperson, clarifying that the goal of her extra-credit policy "is for students to attend events around grounds that are applicable to the global studies course topics, recognizing that important issues will have a diversity of perspectives."
"By posting the information provided by the organizers about the event that is happening today, I did not intend to imply that there is a link between endorsing the viewpoint of the organization and receiving extra credit for the course. In attending any event, I encourage you to critically engage with the content presented and to form your own opinion," she wrote.
"In the reflection on any event, the request is that you critically engage with the content of the event using the tools that the class offers," she added.
Many student groups at higher education institutions across the country have come under sharp criticism after the deadly attack carried out by Hamas terrorists in Israel on Oct. 7 – the deadliest day in Jewish history since the Holocaust.
UVA’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter said the attack against Israel represents a "step towards a free Palestine."
The chapter also said it mourns the loss of human life taken in the war and hopes for "long-lasting peace" that it says cannot be achieved without the establishment of equity and justice.
On Thursday, Miyares sent a letter to all Virginia university and college presidents with "deep concern for the rhetoric of some student groups that are sympathetic to Saturday’s terrorist attacks in Israel."
"Groups like ‘Students for Justice in Palestine’ have publicly stated that they plan ‘Day of Resistance"demonstrations this week. This pro-Hamas group is using language that suggests advocacy or threats of violence, such as calling for physical confrontations or ‘dismantling’ Zionism on campus,'" the letter states.
Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares sent a letter to all Virginia university and college presidents with "deep concern for the rhetoric of some student groups that are sympathetic to Saturday’s terrorist attacks in Israel." (Julia Rendleman for the Washington Post via Getty Images / File)
"The right to freedom of speech does not include violent acts against persons or property. Individuals who commit crimes as part of demonstrations are subject to arrest and prosecution. Similarly, students remain, of course, subject to student codes of conduct," the AG said.
Miyares said his office has been contacted by students, parents and other student groups that "are rightfully concerned about these planned demonstrations."
Miyares urged the school administrations to "provide additional security to promote the safety of all students," adding that "enhanced security may also be necessary after the demonstrations to promote a safe campus environment."
Rockets streak into Israel from the Gaza Strip. (Majdi Fathi / TPS)
In addition, Miyares encouraged the schools to "provide counseling resources to affected students and to make arrangements to assist students who have had family members impacted by the violence."
"Lastly, if you have not already done so, please develop a clear safety plan for students, staff, and faculty to promote public safety and ensure viewpoint diversity. Your Office of Attorney General University Counsel stands ready to assist in any of these efforts," Miyares said.
Fox News Digital reached out to Farmer for comment, but no response was returned by time of publication.
UVA President James E. Ryan issued a statement on Wednesday that said, ‘There can be no justification for, and we must condemn, the actions of Hamas and the horrific violence that has taken place against civilians, including children."