Racist slur targets child

Fay Agterhuis.(Ivan Kemp) 329224_3_8

By Luke Voogt

Racist graffiti targeting a local child at a Point Lonsdale skate park has prompted three primary schools and Queenscliff’s council to condemn the “aberrant” behaviour.

Point Lonsdale, Queenscliff and St Aloysius Catholic primary schools took a stand against racism in a collective letter to their school communities this week.

“It’s unacceptable in any day, time or place, as simple as that,” Point Lonsdale Primary School principal Fay Agterhuis told the Independent on Monday.

“As a school and a group of principals we teach mutual respect, and so we call out disrespect.”

The Borough of Queenscliffe last Thursday removed the graffiti, which Ms Agterhuis described as “a racist comment” targeting a local child.

She declined to expand further on the nature of the graffiti.

The letter from the three principals calls for community members to call out the “aberrant behaviour”.

“We are … appalled and disappointed to see racist graffiti targeting one of our young community members appearing at the skate park,” the letter read.

“Talk to your children and families about racism and the pain it causes, talk about defacement of public properties and the impact it has on us all.

“This is not who we are as a community, not as schools, students and families. We are all so much better than this.”

In a statement last Thursday Borough of Queenscliffe mayor Ross Ebbels said council had removed the graffiti and reported the vandalism to police.

“To say I am shocked and appalled is an understatement,” Cr Ebbels said.

“I have spoken to the family of the young person targeted by the graffiti and reassured them that we will not accept this behaviour.

“We are proud to stand with them against this appalling and criminal act.

“All of us, whenever we encounter racist behaviour and attitudes, have an obligation to call it out and condemn it.

“Racism of any kind is deplorable and will not be tolerated in our community.”

Cr Ebbels urged anyone with information to contact police. To contact Bellarine Police Station phone 5256 2698.