NSW Labor has committed to establish a Premier’s prevention panel on racism and extremism, and a dedicated religious bullying reporting portal if elected on March 25.
A Minns government has also pledged to expand professional development opportunities for teachers and school staff to support students targeted by religious discrimination, to develop best-practice curriculum resources for teaching the Holocaust in all schools, to facilitate better reporting of religious vilification and bullying, and to enter into ongoing consultation with schools and religious communities.
Labor will also introduce a helpline for students and teaching staff who experience religious bullying, and make additional resources and training available for educators to help address religious bullying in the classroom.
Deputy Leader and Shadow Minister for Education Prue Car said it was “heartbreaking” to see incidents of antisemitism and other faith-based bullying taking place in NSW schools.
“No one should be subjected to hate based on their background or religious beliefs, and if elected Labor will move quickly to ensure this scourge is stamped out,” she said.
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBD) president David Ossip welcomed Labor’s proposal to partner with faith communities to introduce the digital reporting system for students and their families.
JBD CEO Darrren Bark said, “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 reporting portal will ensure anonymous reports can be received and the incidents dealt with by schools immediately.”
The proposals have also been welcomed by the Hindu and Muslim communities.