SEVEN students at one of Sydney’s most elite private schools are on the brink of expulsion after an anti-Semitic attack on a Jewish classmate.
The boy in question had apparently been the target of racist abuse for years but it intensified after the school recently visited the Sydney Jewish Museum.
The seven students started throwing coins at his feet, while saying things like “pick it up Jew”, “stingy Jew” and “gas chamber”.
The Jewish student was so traumatised by the incident that he couldn’t return to school. Following the incident, senior staff members visited the student and his parents at home to reassure them that the school is taking the incident seriously.
The school has three levels of warnings for students before expulsion, and the seven students have been immediately placed on the highest level which means that another similar incident will lead to expulsion.
The school is also considering introducing more texts into the curriculum that deal with racism, while NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBOD) chief executive officer Vic Alhadeff has been invited to speak to students.
Alhadeff commended the school for taking a responsible approach to this specific incident and to racism in general. “The school has issued an unequivocal warning to its entire student body that racism of any form – including anti-Semitism – will not be tolerated, and that students who engage in it run the risk of expulsion,” Alhadeff said.
“In addition, it is extending appropriate pastoral care to the family of the Jewish student concerned, to assure him that he is a valued member of the school community and that his wellbeing is a priority.”
Alhadeff said it is imperative that schools take a stand and send a clear message about what is acceptable conduct. “One racist incident is one too many, and we applaud the school involved in this episode for cracking down on the culprits and sounding a warning to anyone else who may be tempted to go the same route.”
Alhadeff has asked that the school not be identified because he said they have dealt with the incident in an “appropriate and serious manner”.
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff has been invited to speak to students.