Knox Grammar students shocked by teacher’s Aboriginal lesson
One of Sydney's priciest and most prestigious private schools is in hot water after a teacher was accused of "distressing" their Year 4 class with a peculiar lesson on Aboriginal history.
During a drama class last week at the north Sydney school, the teacher told their two dozen nine-year-olds to draw a picture of something that represented their family, heritage or identity.
After they'd finished, the teacher grabbed the drawings done by the children and proceeded to tear the drawings to shreds.
"Now you know how Aboriginal Australians felt when everything was taken away from them," the teacher told the kids, according to 2GB's Ben Fordham.
In a statement, Knox Grammar School confirmed the teacher had been disciplined by the school and had apologised to their students.
"The school can confirm that the activity took place with a Year 4 class last week. The school does not support the actions of the teacher," the Wahroonga-based private school said.
"When the school became aware of the matter, it was immediately investigated. The teacher was extensively counselled and disciplined. The teacher has apologised to the students today.
"While the school strongly supports the teaching of indigenous culture and heritage, we believe it needs to be taught in a sensitive and appropriate manner."
Knox Grammar, established in 1924, is in Sydney's Upper North Shore with students paying more than $30,000 a year to attend.
The drama lesson was lashed by Ben Fordham on radio this morning.
"The teacher might want to learn a lesson about guilt tripping innocent kids and what is and isn't appropriate when teaching children in Year Four," the 2GB host said.
NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes also became aware of the complaint, telling Fordham he was "shocked" and that he was glad the school had apologised.
"I've got to say Ben, I was shocked to hear about that," Mr Stokes said.
"Those sorts of things are clearly not age-appropriate and can be very distressing for young kids."
Former Australian politician and media commentator Graham Richardson described the private school lesson as "obscene".
"It's obscene. I can't understand the motivation of people like this. You can't use children as some sort of battleground for your cause," Mr Richardson said.