Muslim students in Australia are showing signs of radicalization from a very early age, a new report in the Daily Telegraph reveals.
The students are exhibiting violent tendencies from as early as "Year 5," which in the Australian school system encompasses students ages 10 and 11. The students have reportedly threatened to behead their teachers, bullied peers into reading the Quran, and have demanded the Syrian flag be raised in the classroom.
Documents obtained by the Telegraph chronicle different incidents at Punchbowl Public School, where terrified teachers have made formal complaints lest a physical act of violence strike the classroom. According to the report, at least three teachers have taken "stress leave, received counseling or been paid compensation because of bullying from Islamic students." The outlet adds:
This morning the Secretary of the Department of Education Mark Scott, told Ray Hadley on 2GB that there was a meeting with senior police yesterday and officials would be heading to the school, along with police this morning.
The primary school is a feeder facility to Punchbowl Boys High, which has been at the centre of a political storm after former principal and Islam-convert Chris Griffiths was sacked when he refused to implement the state government’s deradicalisation program.
In an August 2014 incident, an official complaint from a teacher obtained by The Daily Telegraph says two students were kicked out of class for being “repeatedly uncooperative and disruptive”.
They were placed in “time out” where they “began audibly chanting the Koran in Arabic”. The concerned teacher says they “could give no explanation of their behaviour”
In an October 2014 incident a teacher describes how a student was being bullied when his peers told him he was “betraying his religion” by “not going to Muslim scripture”.
An earlier incident that year says a “group of boys stood around a girl and called her horrible names like dog”.
One teacher, who would only be identified as "Mrs. A," said that Year 5 students threatened to kill her family, but that her multiple complaints to the Department of Education were dismissed.
"Some students would act out beheadings with their fingers across their necks," she said. "I had incidents where the kids wanted to fly the Syrian flag in the classroom or they would wear headbands. But when you say no, they start getting abusive."
"A lot of kids talk about their uncles and cousins who are fighting the war in Syria ... They are allowed to get up and walk out of class at prayer time and we can’t stop them. By the time they get to high school they're learning has been impaired because they’ve been preoccupied with social issues regarding Islam." The Telegraph adds:
In one incident, Mrs A said two Year 5 students pushed her into a corner during a creative arts lesson and chanted the Koran in Arabic around her.
An incident report was filed, but the only punishment was to take the children off the playground during lunch time. Mrs A was told to go to the police if it “was such a big deal”.
She was also left threatening notes saying students would kill her family. And red writing saying “f--- your family” was left on a computer room log for her to find.
One incident report obtained by The Daily Telegraph, made on August 12 in 2014, describes how boys were teasing each other about “eating sausages and seafood because they were doing work related to food in the classroom”. Another incident report describes a student “making racist comments” to a peer and “mimicking her”
Mrs A said this lack of discipline at the school encouraged extremist behaviour. She said it only worsened when the children get to high school.
During a radio interview, Department of Education’s secretary Mark Scott said the violent behavior is brought into the school from the home.
"Where did they learn to say that, where did they learn to do that and learn that was appropriate behavior?" he asked rhetorically.
"These children arrive at the school having learnt these behaviours."
While a spokesman for Education Minister Rob Stokes said the students in question have been counseled and put on detention, the problem has clearly not gone away.
In response, Mrs. A challenged the Minister and DET heads "to deny that religious ideology and beliefs are not having an effect or place in our classrooms or schools."
"It has and it is still happening. It’s time to leave all ideologies at the school gate — be they religious, political, personal or social. And just focus on education not minority beliefs or theories."