A photo that allegedly shows a 12-year-old Jewish student being forced to kneel to kiss the shoes of a Muslim classmate has sparked concerns after it circulated on social media.
The incident occurred at College in the town of Cheltenham, a Melbourne suburb, according to The Age, a Melbourne-based newspaper.
The report did not make it clear if the motive behind the bullying had anything to do with religion.
In a separate incident that occurred in a primary school in Melbourne, a 5-year-old Jewish student was called a number of anti-Semitic insults, including a “Jewish cockroach,” according to The Age.
Both Jewish boys have left their schools.
Dvir Abramovich, chairman of B’nai B’rith’s Anti-Defamation Commission, said the incidents are part of a broader trend of anti-Semitic bullying.
“There is mounting evidence that families are forced to take their children out of public schools and to enroll them in Jewish day schools due to a growing sense of insecurity and fear that their kids will be harmed simply because of who they are,” Abramovich told The Age.
The mother of the boy in the photo said she was disappointed by the school’s lack of response. She told The Age that the school said it was not responsible for the incident since it did not take place on its campus. But the mother said she talked to the parents of the Muslim student, who disapproved of their son’s actions.