Australian officials express concern over shocking antisemitism in schools

A five-year-old boy was harassed for weeks by other children in his school’s bathrooms, laughed at for being circumcised and addressed with expressions such as “Jewish cockroach.”

By
October 7, 2019 02:35
1 minute read.
The new Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his deputy Josh Frydenberg.

The new Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his deputy Josh Frydenberg hold a news conference in Canberra, Australia August 24, 2018. . (photo credit: REUTERS/DAVID GRAY/FILE PHOTO)

An Australian minister has expressed concern over the episodes of antisemitism involving children attending public schools in Melbourne, while the Victoria regional education minister vowed to review how the schools handled the incidents.

Australian media reported on Thursday that a five-year-old boy was harassed for weeks by other children in his school’s bathrooms, laughed at for being circumcised and addressed with expressions such as “Jewish cockroach.” In a separate incident, a 12-year-old was forced to kiss a Muslim classmate’s feet in a public park under the threat of being beaten by several other boys.

 

 "I’m deeply concerned about the reports of children as young as five being attacked in schools because of their Jewishness,” Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg wrote on Twitter. “It’s completely unacceptable in our civilized society.” State and federal governments, he added, “must work together to educate our community about the atrocities of the Holocaust.”

“Antisemitism is on the rise around the globe and sadly we are not immune in our own Victorian community,” Victorian Education Minister James Merlino said in a statement. “I have asked for an immediate review into how both schools have handled these matters, to ensure they were dealt with appropriately.”

The Hawthorn West Primary School attended by the five-year-old at the time of the incident did not address it as an antisemitic episode. Furthermore, the other school – Cheltenham Secondary College – failed to punish the boys ganging up against the victim, claiming that the attack did not happen on the school’s premises.

Both boys were withdrawn from their respective schools.


Related Content

October 18, 2019
Do German youth want a Jewish neighbor? It depends, new study shows

By ROSSELLA TERCATIN

Cookie Settings