Wednesday, December 05, 2007


news.com.au reports:

A JEWISH family claims their teenage son was subjected to acts of anti-Semitic bullying while attending one of Sydney's leading Catholic high schools.

The Year7 student and his younger brother were sent to Waverley College in Sydney's east for a "broader" education but the older boy became the butt of racial taunts as students questioned his right to be there.

His humiliation at the hands of other students hit rock bottom during an episode called "The Jew Game", in which a $5 note was thrown on the ground to see if the Jewish boy would pick it up.

The boy's father's Saul Ellison said: "Unfortunately he picked up the money."

The Jewish boy was then tormented further by students calling out: "What are you doing here? (at Waverley)".

Since the bullying earlier this year the boy has been forced to see a psychologist "to try to deal with it".

This violates the very meaning of being Catholic. The operative word is not "tolerance". The operative word is "love". A Catholic does not treat people in this manner.

The school may be contributing to this bullying:

The Ellisons' relations with the college further deteriorated when they unsuccessfully tried to get their son exempted from attending a compulsory sports carnival - because he was required for bar mitzvah lessons.

It is inevitable that there will be conflicts when a religious school accepts students from another religion. The operative guideline should be that God comes first. Placing the priority on a sporting event to the detriment of allowing the student to follow his religion is hardly placing God first. If the non-Catholic student is going to be accepted in spite of the conflict, concessions must be made. How could a sporting event be deemed this important?

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