A schoolboy desperately attempted to stop horrific anti-Semitic chants and neo-Nazi graffiti by his classmates. But he was instead suspended.
A schoolboy desperately attempted to stop horrific anti-Semitic chants and neo-Nazi graffiti by his classmates. But he was instead suspended.

School suspends the victim of horror Hitler school chants

A boy was suspended by his school after desperate attempts to stop anti -Semitic bullying where students taunted him with 'Heil Hitler' chants and swastikas.

The 15-year-old, from Brighton Secondary, said he called on the school to take action, dragging a classmate to the principal's office who had drawn swastikas on his own hand.

But the boy said he was left feeling "hopeless" after he was handed a suspension for getting physical with his classmate, who he said wasn't reprimanded.

"He'd done things many times before, he'd say 'Get in my oven' and search pictures on his laptop with swastikas … he'd say 'Heil Hitler' all the time," the boy said.

The final straw came earlier this year when the student drew the Nazi symbols on his hand, so the boy grabbed him by the arm to show school leaders.

"There was zero support, they didn't care whatsoever even when I explained what he'd said in the past," he said.

"For him to not get in trouble, I just felt hopeless."

The boy and his older brother both left Brighton Secondary this year over anti-Semitic bullying.

The Department of Education has launched an investigation.

The Herald Sun has obtained pictures of swastikas drawn on the walls of the school grounds, with one drawing in the bathroom showing how to etch the offensive symbol.

The older brother, 17, said the symbols were drawn all over the school grounds.

"It would be too hard to count them all," he said.

"It was normal to make Jewish jokes - it was normalised to say 'Heil Hitler'."

He wore a kippah to school and said other pupils took it off his head and used it as a frisbee.

From Year 7, he said "hate was normalised".

The boys' mother said she didn't want to take her kids out of the school but she saw no alternative.

"When I've complained to Brighton, they've said they've done all these things but they haven't," she said.

She also discussed claims that staff and students referred to the boys as "Palestinian".

"A teacher said to me, 'Israel is not a state'," she said.

Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dr Dvir Abramovich said "it seems like it's open season on Jewish students at our schools".

"The principal and teachers at Brighton Secondary do not have the excuse that they were too young to know better, and this unsettling episode is another blow to any trust Jewish parents may have had in our educational system which keeps falling short," he said.

 

Dvir Abramovich says bigotry and racism is spiralling. Picture: Stuart McEvoy/The Australian
Dvir Abramovich says bigotry and racism is spiralling. Picture: Stuart McEvoy/The Australian

"Schools are supposed to provide an inclusive environment in which our young people can learn, free from religious and racial harassment - that is unless you are Jewish."

He said "nothing seemed to have changed" following revelations last year of anti-Semitism at Cheltenham Secondary, where a Jewish boy was forced to kiss the feet of Muslim classmate.

"I call on the state government to immediately establish a task force to effectively combat this spiralling epidemic of bigotry and racism," Dr Abramovich said.

Education minister James Merlino said the accusations were "extremely serious and I will not stand for this kind of behaviour".

"As soon as we became aware of these disturbing allegations, we commenced a full investigation," he said.

"I want to get to the bottom of exactly what has happened here to ensure they were dealt with appropriately."

Brighton Secondary principal Richard Minack said "the school has become aware of some students exhibiting completely unacceptable anti-Semitic behaviours".

"In each instance the school has taken the issue seriously, investigated it thoroughly and taken appropriate disciplinary action."

Mandatory Holocaust education was introduced to all Victorian high schools this year after cases of anti-Semitic bullying was exposed.

Any student, parent or school can contact the discrimination hotline for advice on 03 7022 5500.

ashley.argoon@news.com.au

@ashargoon

Originally published as School suspended victim of horror Hitler school chants



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