An apology is sought from the Department of Education in Australia’s Sydney after a teacher was found guilty of hurling racist remarks against Indians. James Anderson, a teacher at Cronulla High School, was accused by an Indian-origin former student of describing Indians as “Uber drivers and Deliveroo people” during a business studies lecture in 2021.
On 3rd March 2021, Anderson played an over 20-minute-long ‘educational’ video on YouTube featuring an Indian presenter. The video was posted by DD Odia. According to the student, Anderson mocked the presenter.
“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 reportedly said while submitting evidence at the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
As per the student, the teacher also said that “all Indians are Uber drivers and Deliveroo people, and their service is bad”.
“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 student added.
The accused teacher allegedly continued to play the video despite another student repeatedly asking for the video to be turned off.
Anderson admitted 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,” he reportedly said.
The tribunal found the student’s complaint to be valid and issued a disciplinary warning and training to the teacher and directed the Department of Education to make an official apology to the student.
The Department of Education responding to the controversy reportedly said, “We reject all forms of racism and are committed to the elimination of racial discrimination in NSW public schools.”
Meanwhile, the teacher will not be losing his job or face further action except for the warning and training. Racist incidents against Indians have been a common occurrence in Australia.
In October last year, a 28-year-old Indian-origin student was brutally attacked with a knife in Australia’s Sydney on October 6. Shubham Garg, who was pursuing PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the University of NSW in Sydney, was reportedly stabbed 11 times in an alleged racist attack.
A massive controversy erupted in May 2021 in Adelaide’s Hargrave Reserve Pitch where a pile of minced beef was found dumped on the community cricket pitch, where Hindus living in the area played cricket every weekend. The targeted attack had left locals disgusted and had angered Hindu players, who consider cows sacred.