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Five former students are suing a Melbourne school after alleging the principal perpetuated an ‘anti-Semitic’ culture.
7 News reports that the students of Brighton Secondary College are suing the school, claiming the school’s principal Richard Minack ‘normalised’ anti-Semitism and racism.
Students Joel and Matt Kaplan, Liam Arnold-Levy, Guy Cohen and Zack Snelling allege they were subjected to discrimination between 2013-2020, as per The Age.
They said that fellow students also practising racism and inciting hate speech were not reprimanded by teachers.
Teachers Paul Varney and Demi Flessa were also accused of discriminatory behaviour in the lawsuit.
A Jewish former student of Brighton Secondary College has told the court his peers yelled “skull boy, effing Jew, burn in an oven and hail Hitler” at him on campus. They defaced his notebook with Stars of David - and teachers did nothing to stop it @7NewsMelbourne— Jodi Lee (@jodilee_7) June 1, 2022
The five students are suing Brighton Secondary College on the grounds of anti-Semitic bullying, discrimination and negligence that breach the Racial Discrimination Act. They are also suing the State of Victoria for condoning the abuse.
However, the school and those named in the suit have denied the student’s claims, according to Defence barrister Chris Young.
Earlier this week the student’s barrister Adam Butt told the Federal Court that the school was ‘littered’ with swastika graffiti drawn on students’ property and possessions.
Butt also disclosed to the court that the principal would often give speeches referring to his father, who had ties to Nazi Germany during the second world war.
“He endorsed his Nazi father as a good man and at least once referred to Jews as subhuman, evil, the N-word,” Butt said.
Two students shared that they also endured physical violence, at one point being held at knifepoint and assaulted by their peers.
“Four out of five of my clients had to leave Brighton part way through a school year because the hostile school environment was intolerable,” Butt said.
“We’re talking here about a normalised culture of anti-Semitism.”
Butt revealed that due to the abuse, the students felt that they couldn't be ‘openly Jewish’ at school and often asked to remove all Jewish paraphernalia, such as a Star of David necklace or a yarmulke.
One student was even denied doing a school project about Israel’s former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The Herald Sun reports that 21-year-old Arnold-Levy, who is suing the school, alleged that after making formal complaints against staff, there was ‘no follow up, no questions, no response’.
He added: “I didn’t feel human … I was just so shocked at the lack of care the school provided for such a harsh attack.”
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