The Department of Education has been ordered to make an official apology to a former Cronulla High School student.
The incident happened on 3 March 2021 when a teacher at Cronulla High School allegedly described Indian people as “Uber drivers and Deliveroo people” during a Year 12 business studies class.
It was alleged that the male teacher played an educational YouTube video for the class entitled Elements of Marketing that featured Indians.
Further, it was alleged, that the teacher mocked the female presenter before saying “all Indians are Uber drivers and Deliveroo people, and their service is bad”.
An Indian-origin student and her parents met with the principal and also filed a complaint with NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
The female student said during her evidence at the tribunal:
“As the video was playing, I saw [the teacher], glance at me a few times and continue to mockingly giggle at the lady and her accent.”
The student added:
“I was distressed and uncomfortable that Mr Anderson was looking at me during the video and mocked the Indian presenter, knowing that I am of Indian race. It was embarrassing and hurtful.”
The teacher denied mocking the female presenter but admitted that he said the following before complaining about the quality of service provided by Uber and food delivery providers.
“Don’t assume because she is Indian that she is an Uber driver or works at 7-Eleven.”
It is reported that the teacher admitted to the tribunal that his statements were “inappropriate” and “racial in nature.”
“At the time there was nothing in the nature of any reactions by the students in the class that day to cause me to think that one or more of the students was upset.”
The Department of Education in a statement provided to the Sydney Morning Herald said:
“We reject all forms of racism and are committed to the elimination of racial discrimination in NSW public schools. The matter was reported to the Professional and Ethical Standards Directorate in 2021 and appropriate action was taken.”
Following the hearing, the teacher received a disciplinary warning and training and the Tribunal has ordered the Department to issue the student with a written apology.
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