New cases of antisemitism at Melbourne’s state schools

New cases of antisemitism at Melbourne’s state schools

Jewish teens were subject to Nazi salutes, antisemitic memes and even physical assaults in three cases at separate Melbourne secondary colleges reported to the Education Department.

Every day for five weeks at school, a 13-year-old boy says he was greeted with abuse, including heil Hitlers and being called a “dirty Jew” – a reminder that members of his family were murdered by Nazis.

He’s one of three students at three separate Melbourne public schools who say they have experienced antisemitic bullying that was so extreme their parents are pulling them out. They encountered swastikas, Nazi salutes and even physical assaults and were called “Jewboy” or “dirty Jew” and sent memes involving Hitler.

Two of the students became withdrawn, refused to go to school and couldn’t get out of bed. Another said he no longer told people about his Jewish background.

Their families say the response from both the schools and Education Department did not go far enough to stamp out the behaviour or treat the matters as seriously as they should have. One family decided to go to the police because they felt the school was not responding quickly enough.

The cases, reported by The Age, occurred at Brighton, Brunswick and Rowville Secondary Colleges.

In one case, a Brunswick Secondary student, 13, said he was confronted with cries of Heil Hitler, a student drawing swastikas on a desk, and at one point was held down, hit and kicked while another student tried to draw a swastika on his leg. 

These cases are unrelated to the incidents at Brighton Secondary College currently before the courts. In that case, five former students are suing the school and Education Department alleging they failed to protect students from antisemitic discrimination and bullying.

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Nazi salutes, memes and assaults: Jewish students say state schools unsafe.

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Photo: Students at Brunswick Secondary College