Sydney teacher found to have racially vilified Indian student
This report rather grieves me. I have been to India 3 times and have always admired Indian people for their patience and good nature amid adversity. And a very important person in my life at the moment is of wholly Indian descent. I admire her greatly. See her below:
The Department of Education has been ordered to make an official apology to a former Cronulla High School student after a teacher allegedly described Indian people as “Uber drivers and Deliveroo people” during a Year 12 business studies class.
The teacher – James Anderson – played an educational YouTube video for the class entitled Elements Of Marketing which featured a presenter of Indian descent.
During the video, Anderson is alleged to have mocked the presenter before saying “all Indians are Uber drivers and Deliveroo people, and their service is bad”.
The incident, which happened on March 3, 2021, was complained about by a student who was of Indian descent.
The student and her parents met with the principal following the incident, but filed a complaint with NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal after being unsatisfied with the school’s response.
“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 said during her evidence 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 his evidence, Anderson denied mocking the presenter, but admitted he said something to the effect of: “Don’t assume because she is Indian that she is an Uber driver or works at 7-Eleven”, before complaining about the quality of service provided by Uber and food delivery providers.
He admitted 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,” he told the tribunal.
On Tuesday, the Tribunal handed down its decision finding the student’s complaint of racial vilification substantiated.
The Tribunal ordered the Department of Education – the first respondent in the case – to issue the student with a written apology which acknowledged the Tribunal’s findings of racial vilification and the harm caused to her.
The teacher remains at the school but received a disciplinary warning and training.
In a statement provided to the Herald, a spokesman for the Department of Education commended other students in the class who spoke up during the incident.
“We reject all forms of racism and are committed to the elimination of racial discrimination in NSW public schools,” he said.
“The matter was reported to the Professional and Ethical Standards Directorate in 2021 and appropriate action was taken.”