Former Brighton Secondary College students Matt Kaplan and Liam Arnold-Levy have accused the school of ignoring complaints of anti-Semitism. (Luis Enrique Ascui)

Brighton Secondary College students drawing swastikas trying to be ‘edgy’, says former teacher

A former Brighton Secondary College teacher said if students were drawing swastikas at the school, it was because they were “trying to be edgy 15-year-olds” and “not making a connection” or “thinking” about the impact on Jewish students.

Five former students – Matt and Joel Kaplan, Liam Arnold-Levy, Guy Cohen and Zack Snelling – are suing the government-run school and the state of Victoria for negligence and failing to protect them as Jewish students under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act.

Among the students’ claims are that there were hundreds of swastikas at the school and a culture of anti-Semitism.

Teacher Lana Goldstone told the Federal Court she was “hypersensitive” to anti-Semitism as a Jewish woman whose family included Holocaust survivors, but did not experience a culture of anti-Semitism while teaching at the school between 2015 and 2018.

Nor did she see or hear Nazi salutes or “heil Hitlers” and only recalled seeing one swastika at the school, which was “doodled” on a student’s notebook in 2017.

Read the artticle by Nicole Precel in The Sydney Morning Herald.