Jewish students in Australia are suing the State of Victoria over allegations that Brighton Secondary College in Melbourne reportedly ignored claims of antisemitic bullying.
The State, in addition to the principal and two teachers at the college, now face a Federal Court hearing in proceedings for breaching of the Racial Discrimination Act and negligence. The students have accused the college of creating a “prison culture”.
Lawyers for the State and school staff deny the accusations.
The case comes a year after an inquiry was launched into the accusations, the results of which the parents of the students were unhappy with. Jane McCullough, a lawyer representing the students, said at the time: “The families do not believe that the report and its findings go in any way far enough towards combating a significant problem of antisemitism at Brighton Secondary College, nor does it provide an acceptable outcome or justice for them. The families will continue to fight to be heard and for justice for their children.”
The inquiry was launched after an investigative piece was written by The Australian Jewish News, which reportedly unearthed a long list of claims that “that spanned years, with one Jewish student said to have been lured to a park where he was robbed and beaten at night, and another allegedly threatened with a knife in a school bathroom. One boy said he was told to ‘Get in my oven’ and had ‘Heil Hitler’ chanted at him. Countless instances of swastikas were said to be daubed on school walls and property, and allegations of inaction were directed at the principal and coordinators.”