Nazi salutes, swastikas at Melbourne school

June 1, 2022 by AAP
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A Melbourne school principal has been accused of giving speeches endorsing Nazis, calling Jewish people subhuman and failing to protect his students from racial discrimination.

Brighton Secondary College

Five former Brighton Secondary College students are suing the school, alleging they were subjected to years of anti-Semitic bullying, discrimination and negligence.

The students, who cannot be named, allege they experienced physical and verbal bullying by students and teachers between 2013 and 2020.

Principal Richard Minack and two teachers are also named in the suit.

The school was “littered” with swastika graffiti, drawn on students hands and desks, the students’ barrister Adam Butt told the Federal Court on Wednesday.

Students were subjected to Nazi salutes, he said.

Mr Minack allegedly gave multiple speeches endorsing his father and grandfather, who had connections to the German army during World War II, the court heard.

“He endorsed his Nazi father as a good man and at least once referred to Jews as subhuman, evil, the N-word,” Mr Butt said.

The State of Victoria is also being sued, accused of having condoned the behaviour.

Two students allege they were held at knifepoint or assaulted by fellow students who were not punished

One says a teacher wouldn’t allow him to wear a kippah or yarmulke, and another says he was told to remove his Star of David necklace.

Another said they were not allowed to complete a project on Israel’s former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Four out of five of my clients had to leave Brighton part way through a school year because the hostile school environment was intolerable,” Mr Butt said.

“We’re talking here about a normalised culture of antisemitism.”

He said the school’s failure to protect the students had contravened the Religious Discrimination Act and violated the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Children.

“They didn’t feel like they could be openly Jewish at the school,” he said.

Defence barrister Chris Young said the school, the state and the rest of the respondents have denied all allegations brought against them.

He said Mr Minack and several teachers will give evidence as witnesses.

The trial before Justice Debbie Mortimer continues.

President of The Jewish Community Council of Victoria Daniel Aghion told J-Wire: “These allegations are deeply concerning, and we will await the determination of the court.

The JCCV has worked with the Victorian Department of Education and Training to develop modules of antisemitism training for Brighton Secondary College’s staff and these were delivered in Term 1 this year. This training, facilitated by educators at the Jewish Museum of Australia, Ark Centre and Courage to Care, provided teachers with a greater understanding of identifying antisemitism, how it manifests and reporting pathways. Discussions are ongoing with Department of Education and Training regarding a modified online antisemitism training program for every Victorian Government school teacher.”



2 Responses to “Nazi salutes, swastikas at Melbourne school”
  1. Liat Kirby says:

    ‘Contravened the Religious Discrimination Act’? If these allegations prove to be correct, surely they contravene more than that. A Jew is a Jew, religious or not. A Jew is not defined only by religion.

    What a shocking situation.

  2. william h rocheblave says:

    where were the parents of these children? You would think they would have taken them out of that school.

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