(October 4, 2019 / JNS) Two Jewish students in Melbourne, Australia, were taken out of school after being the targets of anti-Semitic bullying in two separate incidents.
In one case, a 12-year-old Jewish schoolboy at Cheltenham Secondary College in Victoria was forced to kneel down and kiss the shoe of a Muslim boy after a group of nine children, ages 12 and 13, circled him in a Melbourne park and threatened him with violence, reported the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail.
In a separate instance, a 5-year-old boy at Hawthorn West Primary School was called a “Jewish cockroach” and “dirty Jew” by his classmates. He was also chased continuously to the bathroom and laughed at for being circumcised to the point that he started to wet himself in class rather than use the toilet, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Both victims were withdrawn from their respective schools by their parents.
The mother of the 5-year-old said that her son was completely distraught by the abuse. She told the Australian Jewish News, “He literally fell down on the floor and said, “Mummy, you shouldn’t love me. I’m a worthless, Jewish rodent. I’m vermin.’ ”
The school’s solution to the abuse was to allow the student to use another bathroom, rejecting the mother’s suggestion to educate students about anti-Semitism.
The mother of the 12-year-old said she sat down with both students involved in the bullying and the parents of the Muslim boy, who apparently were horrified by their son’s actions. The school has refused to take action because the bullying did not take place on school grounds.
Dvir Ahramovich, chairman of the B’nai B’rith’s Anti-Defamation Commission, told the Australian Jewish News that the incidents are part of widespread anti-Semitic bullying in the country’s schools.
“There is mounting evidence that families are forced to take their children out of public schools and to enroll them in Jewish day schools due to a growing sense of insecurity and fear that their kids will be harmed simply because of who they are,” said Abramovich.
“Too often, parents are concerned that the anti-Semitic abuse will escalate if they notify the school since their child will become an even bigger target,” he noted.
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