Labor's Education Minister backflips on promise to release anti-Semitism investigation

In Question Time today, Labor’s Education Minister, James Merlino, refused to release the reports from an investigation into two shocking cases of anti-Semitism at Victorian schools, despite previously committing to do so.

Not only has the Minister failed to keep his word but when one family asked for a copy of the final report, the Minister’s department refused and heartlessly told them that if they really wanted a copy they could apply for it via the Freedom of Information Act.

The investigation was into disgraceful anti-Semitic incidents at Hawthorn West Primary School and Cheltenham Secondary College. In one incident a 5-year-old child was repeatedly bullied by classmates for being called “a worthless Jewish rodent” and in the other a 12-year-old boy was forced to kiss the feet of a Muslim boy under threat of gang violence.

When the Minister first met with the victims’ families, he promised the report from the investigation would be released in full to them.

However, in Question Time today when asked if the reports will be released, Mr Merlino backflipped and refused to release the reports in full.

Comments attributable to Member for Caulfield, David Southwick:

“It is unacceptable that these families, after such horrid incidents, have been let-down by Labor’s Education Minister.

“Pressure on the Minister has forced him to reluctantly allow the families to view the report and I intend to hold him to this, although Mr Merlino has still failed to keep his promise to release the report to the families in full.”

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