STUDENTS THREATEN TO KILL MUSLIMS DURING HOLY MONTH OF RAMADAN AS “THAT’S WHEN THEIR ENERGY LEVELS ARE AT THEIR LOWEST FROM NOT EATING OR DRINKING”
FORMER STUDENTS THEN THREATEN & “TROLL” COMPLAINANT OVER SOCIAL MEDIA
HEAD OF ST ANDREW’S CATHEDRAL SCHOOL SAYS THE INCIDENTS WILL REQUIRE THE NEED TO “INCREASE OUR EFFORTS WITH OUR STUDENTS IN OUR STANCE AGAINST RACISM”
Students from one of Sydney’s oldest and most prestigious private Christian schools have been caught out threatening genocide in public against the country’s Muslim population, with the students agreeing the best time to kill Muslims was during Ramadan because “that’s when their energy levels are at their lowest from not eating or drinking”.
St Andrew’s Cathedral School has also found itself in further hot water this week after a group of at least seven former students of the school made or ‘liked’ disparaging and defamatory remarks over social media to the person who overheard the original racist and discriminatory comments made about Muslims.
The initial incident involving a group of St Andrew’s Cathedral School students took place on June 8 during lunchtime at a Subway fast-food restaurant located only half a block from the school’s campus at Sydney Square near Town Hall.
Manning Bartlett, a children’s television producer and film editor, witnessed the group of three boys and one girl making the comments as he ate his lunch at the restaurant.
“They were sitting in the restaurant and I heard the girl make the comments, and the rest of them all laughed like it was the best thing they had heard.
“All of them were aged about 15 or 16 and were all still dressed in their school blazers.
“The young girl was definitely the instigator but the rest of them all went along with it.”
PR 4 THE PEOPLE understands that tuition fees at the school cost $30,000 each year per student.
Mr Bartlett reported the incident almost immediately to St Andrew’s via the school’s email form page and also posted a message to the school’s official Facebook page.
However, it took the school almost two weeks to respond to the original complaint, with the school only responding when PR 4 THE PEOPLE got involved this week.
St Andrew’s insists it never received an email while it has claimed that it did not see Mr Bartlett’s Facebook comment left on the school’s official page “due to a Facebook issue”.
However, PR 4 THE PEOPLE can confirm that the Facebook post made to the school was visible and easily accessible until June 20, when it was suddenly deleted following the trolling by former students.
St Andrew’s has confirmed that it has received at least three other complaints from members of the public about the June 8 incident.
Mr Bartlett – who is married to a Turkish-Muslim woman – said he was concerned that teenage students thought such comments were appropriate to make in public places or anywhere else.
“I had no agenda to report the original incident to the school apart from acting as a general reminder that anti-discrimination should be a core teaching of all schools,” he said.
“I don’t want any students necessarily singled out and punished because they need an opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them and I hope the school uses this opportunity to guide them.”
Mr Bartlett’s frustration over the incident and seeming lack of any action from the school grew this week though when he became a victim of “trolling” by at least seven former students of the school on Sunday, June 19.
The trolling took place on the message Mr Bartlett had left the school on its Facebook page.
“St Andrews Cathedral School, creating forward thinkers since 1885,” wrote former student Tom McJannett, now a Maroubra real estate agent.
“Manning you look like you have punched a few to (sic) many [cannabis cones].”
Another former student, Ryan Block, also joined in: “Look manning (sic) it’s actually pretty clever you should be commending St Andrews on how well they educate there (sic) students”.
The administrator of St Andrew’s official Facebook page soon deleted the comments made by the former students on Sunday, June 19 but did not respond to Mr Bartlett’s original post or apologise for their actions. Instead, Mr Bartlett’s complaint was a day later completely removed from the page.
Upon realising that screenshots had been taken of their comments, both Mr McJannett and Mr Block pre-emptively contacted PR 4 THE PEOPLE to ‘explain’ their actions and comments, all of which were supposedly under the guise of “sarcasm”.
“Our comments on Facebook were made in a sarcastic manner because we believe what they were saying to be ridiculous and wrong,” Mr McJannett wrote in an email.
Mr McJannett – who pulled down his own Facebook page for his real estate business once he was aware screenshots had been made of his comments – could not explain though why he felt the need to make defamatory comments about Mr Bartlett having apparently “punched to (sic) many [marijuana cones]”.
Another former student, Wilson Wise, who left a comment of ‘b’ to Mr Bartlett’s complaint also pre-emptively contacted PR 4 THE PEOPLE to explain his online behaviour.
In web parlance, ‘b’ is usually a signifier for the term ‘bitch’.
“As someone who is actively involved in many Facebook groups, ‘b’ represents Bump, and Bump stands for Bring Up My Post, commonly used to draw attention to a post which is losing its limelight,” Mr Wise insisted.
All three claimed that they were “absolutely disgusted” by the original incident as posted by Mr Bartlett on the school’s Facebook wall but when questioned why they did not say that in their Facebook comments rather than trolling and defaming Mr Bartlett, PR 4 THE PEOPLE was not given a reply.
The former students demanded that PR 4 THE PEOPLE not publish their names, a request which has obviously been dismissed.
The head of St Andrews, Dr John Collier, has told PR 4 THE PEOPLE in a statement that although the school will be unable to accurately identify which of their students made the comments promoting genocide of Muslims, he will be acting appropriately to improve his students’ understanding of racism and discrimination.
“Please be assured such remarks are the opposite of what we teach and value,” Dr Collier said.
“We have brought this comment to the attention of our pastoral staff who deal with student behaviour. Since we do not have the names or ages of the students involved, we are unable to discipline those involved.
“We will increase our efforts with our students in our stance against racism.”
Dr Collier described the behaviour of his former students as “very disturbing” and said he will be contacting their families to let them know that they have let their fellow alumni down.
“They do not manifest the values we cherish, ” Dr Collier said. “Unfortunately now that they are adults and no longer at school we have no control over them. Nonetheless I will take the matter up with them and their parents in the hope of changing their behaviour.”
Established in 1885, St Andrew’s currently has a school population of more than 1,000 students and counts the likes of aviator Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith, former Wallabies coach Rod Macqueen, classical pianist Simon Tedeschi, and singer Julian Hamilton from the electro-dance duo The Presets, as part of its alumni.
Ramadan will come to an end this year on Tuesday, July 5 with the Eid-al-Fitr.