A Sydney Teacher Who Was Found To Have Racially Vilified A Student Will Get To Keep His Job

CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses alleged racism.

A New South Wales teacher will not be given the boot after he allegedly made disgusting comments about Indian people during a business studies class.

According to The Sydney Morning Hearld, Cronulla High School teacher James Anderson allegedly mocked and racially vilified Indian people by describing them as “Uber Drivers and Deliveroo people” during a Year 12 business studies class.

The alleged incident, which happened on March 3 2021, was taken to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal after a student of Indian descent made a complaint against the business studies teacher.

It’s also reported that the student initially complained to the principal. However, she and her parents felt they were not satisfied with how they handled the alleged incident, leading them to the Tribunal.

Per The Sydney Morning Herald, Anderson reportedly mocked and racially vilified Indian people whilst he played a YouTube video titled Elements of Marketing, which featured a female presenter of Indian descent.

“As the video was playing, I saw Mr Anderson, while smiling, glance at me a few times and continue to mockingly giggle at the lady and her accent,” the student revealed at the tribunal.

“During the playing of the video which ran for over twenty minutes, I recall a girl in the class asking for the video to be turned off a few times … but Mr Anderson did not do so.

“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.”

During the Tribunal, Anderson denied mocking the YouTube presenter but admitted to saying something along the lines of: “Don’t assume because she is Indian that she is an Uber driver or works at 7-Eleven”.

“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,” Anderson said at the Tribunal.

Earlier this week, the Tribunal found the student’s complaint to be valid and ordered the Department of Education to give the student a written apology, acknowledging the Tribunal’s findings of racial vilification, per Sydney Morning Herald.

However, the publication reported that Anderson will continue working at the school but has been given a disciplinary warning and training.

Stories like this hit really close to home as a Filipina woman. I’ve also had an experience during my education and learning

I’m often scared that I’ll be called a liar or accused of being someone who constantly pulls the “racism card” because of previous experiences where I tried to find support.

I applaud this student for calling out someone in a position of power, ‘cos I know how scary and uncomfortable that can be.

Although the student is getting an apology, I believe there could’ve been more things done to make her feel comfortable going back to school. Like, IDK, sacking the guy.

In a statement obtained by the Herald, a spokesperson from the Department of Education claimed they “reject all forms of racism” and that they’re “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,” the spokesperson said.

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