The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBD) has been left “shocked and deeply saddened” by antisemitic and racist remarks made by students at The King’s School in North Parramatta.
According to a report in The Daily Telegraph, one student in a WhatsApp group – called Studies of Religion Group Chat – wrote: “I’m cool with muzzlims (sic) and pretty much everyone as long as they aren’t J*wish (sic) or F*ench (sic).”
Another student responded: “(student’s name) hates the jews (sic).”
When asked by The AJN what measures have been taken to address the incident, a spokesman for The King’s School said the matter was dealt with internally.
“The school identified an issue of unacceptable online behaviour last year,” the spokesman said.
“The well-being of children is always central to the school’s response to any issue. The matter was investigated and resolved to the satisfaction of the families involved at the time.”
It’s understood the school has yet to reach out to the JBD regarding the matter.
“These vile comments are yet another indication that our students are not getting the message: hate has no place in our society,” said JBD CEO Darren Bark.
“We commend the Minns Government for its strong stance against antisemitic bullying and its commitment to stamping out such behaviour through increased Holocaust education in our schools and additional training and resources for teachers to tackle this scourge. We also welcome the government’s commitment to introducing a digital reporting portal for students and their families to report incidents.
“For too long, families have held back on reporting inappropriate behaviour for fear of reprisals from bullies or being labelled as troublemakers by school leadership. This will no longer be the case.
“The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies looks forward to working with Education Minister Prue Car and the Department of Education to make these reforms a reality.”
CEO of Courage to Care Ed St John told The AJN that the increase in reported incidents of antisemitism and discrimination in Australian schools really underlines the need for a systematic approach to anti-discrimination education.
“Many of the schools mentioned recently in the media have either booked Courage to Care programs as part of their response, or made visits to the Sydney Jewish Museum, and I’d say the majority have done both,” said St John.
“I should mention that we also see many schools – not just in Sydney but all over NSW, Queensland and the ACT – who simply place a priority on anti-discrimination education. They’re not responding to a specific incident, but they’re probably hoping to avoid one, and that’s commendable.
“Courage to Care is about inspiring young people to make a stand against discrimination – to be Upstanders rather than Bystanders. We’re promoting positive behaviours such as kindness and respect and courage because we believe that’s the most effective defence against discrimination in all its forms.”