The NSW Police Minister has unloaded on a group of primary school students and called for their teacher to be sacked amid a row over Black Lives Matter posters in a Sydney classroom.
Some of the slogans created by grade five and six students for a class project included “stop killer cops”, “black people deserve to live” and “pigs out of the country”.
NSW Minister for Police and Emergency services David Elliott was “appalled” by the placards.
Mr Elliott called for the teacher at Lindfield Learning Village, on Sydney’s Upper North Shore, to be fired over the incident, which he labelled as evidence of “indoctrination” and “brainwashing”.
“I can’t believe we’ve got these left-wing teachers out there acting racist themselves by saying white lives don’t matter. Well, they do. Everybody matters,” Mr Elliott said.
“These are the same left-wing ideologues who will say every time an Australian soldier sets foot overseas, ‘it’s not our war’. Well, guess what, what’s going on in America at the moment, it’s not our war.”
Mr Elliott’s outrage came just hours after a jury in the US delivered a unanimous guilty verdict against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd.
The high-profile case, which centred around a white police officer using his knee to cause the death of a black civilian, sparked the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020.
The movement sent shockwaves throughout the US and internationally, with protests and rallies around the globe – including in Australia.
Mr Elliott said Australians had a more respectful relationship with the police force than Americans did, because Australia had “civilian oversight” and when officers “do the wrong thing there is a process”.
“I’m very, very concerned that teachers are using what’s happened in the United States to somehow muddy the waters here,” he said.
NSW Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell has ordered a full review into the issue, amid warnings school is no place for “political activism”, according to 7News.
“These posters should not be displayed in a classroom,” Ms Mitchell said.
“Any teacher found to be politicising a classroom will face disciplinary action.”
A NSW Department of Education spokesman said the posters had been taken down and did not represent the views of the department.
“The comments on the poster are in no way endorsed by the department or represent the department’s view of police, who do an indispensable job of keeping the community safe and secure”, the spokesperson said.
Mr Elliott said he was concerned the messaging would cause children to think the police were racist and said education should be apolitical.