A group of students wearing black clothes and masks took over a class taught by the head of Stanford Law School in opposition to her apology to US Circuit Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan.

The judge had faced verbal abuse from the students during a previous incident. Upon returning to teaching, Dean Jenny Martinez discovered that her classroom had been vandalized with signs, according to photos obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

“Counter-speech is free speech,” argued many of the fliers — a claim that was printed on most of the students’ masks, the outlet said.

“We have free speech rights too,” read another, while a third demanded an apology.

According to students, at the conclusion of her class, nearly all of the 60 students in Martinez’s class remained silent and looked at her, indicating that they too felt silenced. Only a small number of students did not participate in the silent protest.

The report states that many other students created a pathway from Martinez’s classroom to the building’s exit by standing in a line, but some students who did not participate in this action felt excluded and complained about being left out. The number of students who formed the human corridor is not specified.

Luke Schumacher, a first-year student, informed the Free Beacon that he felt pressured to wear black and join the protests, as students who did not participate were given strange looks. Schumacher added that the atmosphere did not feel inclusive or welcoming, despite the claims made by the DEI office.

Another student, who preferred to remain anonymous to avoid retaliation, described the situation as “eerie.” The student recounted how the protesters remained silent and stared at those who chose not to join the demonstration, including the dean. The student suggested that a similar silent protest would have been more appropriate for Judge Duncan, who was prevented from speaking.

The judge, Stuart Kyle Duncan, criticized the initial protest against him, which occurred last Thursday, as “deeply uncivil behavior” and referred to the protesters as “hypocrites,” “idiots,” and “bullies.” The protest took place during Duncan’s talk to Stanford Law School students and was joined by Tirien Steinbach, the university’s dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Steinbach interrupted Duncan’s speech and stated that his work had caused harm to many people at the university. Martinez and Stanford president Marc Tessier-Lavigne later issued an apology to Duncan, acknowledging that the protest went against the university’s policies on free speech, including the “disruption policy” that prohibits “heckling or other forms of interruption” at such events.

In their statement, the authors of the apology did not explicitly name Steinbach. However, they criticized “staff members” who failed to uphold university policies and instead interfered in ways that did not align with the university’s commitment to free speech.

Despite the widespread disapproval of the protest, at least three student groups criticized the law school for apologizing, as reported by the Free Beacon. The Stanford National Lawyers Guild expressed disappointment with the apology and claimed that it had unfairly placed blame on “capable and compassionate administrators.”

The law school’s Immigration & Human Rights Law Association also claimed that the apology “only made this situation worse.”

Stanford Law School’s chapter of the American Constitution Society also accused the letter of making Duncan out to be “a victim, when in fact he himself had made civil dialogue impossible.”

Martinez did not respond to a request for comment on the latest protest, the outlet said.