Letters to the Editor: My son was viciously attacked at UCLA. We feel betrayed by the university

A pro-Palestinian demonstrator is beaten by counterprotesters attacking an encampment at UCLA on Wednesda.
A pro-Palestinian demonstrator is beaten by counterprotesters attacking an encampment at UCLA on Wednesday.
(Etienne Laurent / AFP / Getty Images)

To the editor: My son dreamed of going to UCLA since he first visited the campus at age 11. You know, Dad born there, Mom worked there, Grandpa was on the medical school faculty there — Bruin blood. In high school he ignored counseling and applied only to one school — UCLA. (“‘Unacceptable’: Why it took hours for police to quell attack at UCLA pro-Palestinian camp,” May 1)

He graduated in 2020. Next month, he’ll earn his master’s degree.

On the evening the encampment was attacked, while trying to help a fallen fellow camper, my son was assaulted by man who bashed his head with a long wood board that had nails protruding at the top, a potentially lethal weapon. He was taken to two hospitals and released the next day with a concussion. More CAT scans and MRIs await.

As students were attacked without intervention for hours, my son feels betrayed by his beloved school. We spend lots of time and money on football coaches and athlete recruitment, and apparently not enough on preventing travesties on campus.


Major global issues will always inspire protests and opposing views. I’m on the side of free speech and safety for students no matter what — how about you?

Brad Kearns, Stateline, Nev.


To the editor: When Jewish students fear for their safety on U.S. campuses, and little action is taken by the White House, the American Jewish community finds itself in a previously unimaginable predicament.

Like our ancestors before us, we are forced to ask, should we stay or should we go?

A Judenrein America will no longer reap the benefits of Jewish innovation in medicine, science or technology. Our time as a world power will end, and U.S. citizens will suffer the consequences.

Leslie Fuhrer Friedman, Culver City


To the editor: My wife and I are a UCLA alumni couple who were married on our beloved campus. Count us out on future donations to UCLA. We support an annual UCLA scholarship fund, but no more.


The reprehensible and violent dismantling of the peaceful tent camp was shameful. Just after standing by as hooligans assaulted the peaceful protesters, this was UCLA’s response?

Here’s the real story: Hamas committing murders and taking hostages is terrible and horrific. But Israel’s response, starving 1 million people and killing more than 30,000, most of whom are women and children, is bad. Shame on UCLA.

Tal Ross, Oak Park


To the editor: I am a UCLA alumna who attended during the era of Vietnam War protests. Encampments were not allowed, but there were plenty of noisy marches and free speech prevailed.

The mistake UCLA administrators made was allowing the establishment of encampments in the first place. Among other things, it prevented access to Powell Library for all students (during midterms), and historic Royce Hall was damaged with graffiti and broken windows.

My heart is filled with sadness.

Ann C. Hayman, Westwood



To the editor: To anyone who grew up in the 1960s, the scenes at colleges of riot police look familiar.

It’s as if we never learned anything from that era, especially that you don’t deal with student protests with riot police, batons and so on. It just inflames the situation and focuses dissent on the force being used, adding fuel to the fire.

The way to respond is with honest dialogue, not repression, admitting mistakes when they are made rather than constantly doubling down.

Martin Usher, Thousand Oaks


To the editor: Seeing the photos of campus buildings defaced with signs and spray paint was really distressing.


While it pales in comparison with the horrors in Israel and Gaza, protesters gain nothing by damaging property in cities thousands of miles away. Demonstrators do their cause a disservice by trashing university campuses.

I hope some will help clean up the mess, and that those arrested will be assigned by the courts to help repair the damage they caused.

There are many things people can do to help people in Gaza; trashing public property doesn’t help anyone.

Carol Mathews, Redwood City, Calif.


To the editor: It seems that it was fine to demonstrate in the street, sometimes violently, against the war in Vietnam when you might have been affected — but when students with nothing to gain demonstrate against the unnecessary killing in Gaza, they’re branded as antisemitic and worse.


What gives with the anti-war generation?

John Lalonde, Camarillo