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Bolt Report, Sky News, 15 November 2023

Andrew Bolt: You wouldn’t want to be a Jewish child in our schools right now, would you? As I said last night, just discussed, we have one Jewish school in Sydney banned by the jumping castle suppliers, oh no you can’t rent from us. You’re a Zionist. We don’t want your blood money. What was that? And next week there’s going to be a school strike for Palestine, can you imagine what that means for Jewish students at these schools? Yet the Victorian premier said she defends the right of these students to march out of their classrooms. Joining me is Senator Sarah Henderson, the education spokesman for the opposition. Sarah Henderson, great to see you. The castle supplier, do people have the right to decline service to people they don’t agree with? I mean, I think this is appalling, but we have had the case of bakers refusing to bake cakes for gay weddings and that was a conservative cause, they should have that right.

Senator Henderson: Well, Andrew, good evening and great to join you. And this is a blatant case of discrimination, shocking, appalling. And it’s part of the growing rise of antisemitism that we are seeing in this country. And I just feel so much for this school, Andrew. Masada College who had the police there today, they’re getting a lot of support but just appalling conduct by this business. And Jewish students are enduring enough as it is. Their safety is at risk. Some kids are too scared to go to school in their uniforms. Jewish students on campus at universities are feeling frightened and under threat.

Andrew Bolt: And for a business to do this to a school is absolutely shocking. I think it’s disgusting. Disgraceful. I hope she goes broke, that bigot. But my point is, should the law have a role here?

Senator Henderson: Well, the law does have a role. This is a blatant case of discrimination on the base of race and religion. So this business is completely out of line. And I do hope there are consequences, serious consequences for this business. Just imagine if this spread, I mean, businesses already are being targeted because of their connections with Jewish companies and Jewish people. But for this school to be targeted in this way is absolutely appalling. I agree with you. I do hope this business goes broke. It does not deserve to be in business.

Andrew Bolt: And it’s so hard now for Jewish students, I mean, you hear of quite a few Jewish students being told you don’t wear any visible sign of your religion outside the school gates and it’s just ghastly. Patrols have been stepped up. Police protection needs to be stepped up. And there’s the prime minister saying, “oh I’m really concerned about Islamophobia too.” Well, hello? Let’s just deal with what’s in front of us, anti-Jewish Prime Minister. The school strike for Palestine now, the Victorian premier says the children have that right to skip class and go and march for Palestine, even though I guess they say that half of them couldn’t find Gaza on a map. Your view?

Senator Henderson: Well, I do. I think the Victorian premier, Jacinta Allan, is being totally reckless and irresponsible in supporting students attending this terrible protest. She is putting them at risk of being harmed. She cannot guarantee there won’t be violence at this protest and she has a duty of care, as do every school in Victoria, every school principal. Absolutely appalling behavior by Jacinta Allan. She’s just as extreme left-wing as the former premier, Daniel Andrews. She should hang her head in shame and reverse her position. And I’ve called on the Education Minister and the Albanese Government to give assurances that students will stay at school, will not attend this protest. So I do expect that the Prime Minister and the Education Minister, Jason Clare, will step up to ensure the safety and security of students in Melbourne next week.

Andrew Bolt: Don’t expect their friend, the Prime Minister’s in mid-air. Here’s an odd one though, Sarah. A Catholic school in the New South Wales Southern Highlands, says it wants to cut in-school teaching to just four days a week and have students learn at home on Mondays with no formal teaching. This is just for the older students. The principal says this will set students up for success in the modern world. Might also cut the school’s teaching bill which might not be incidental. Good idea?

Senator Henderson: This is a very bad idea. Students have had enough enduring remote learning during COVID. It caused enormous damage, Andrew. I’m worried that the school has taken this measure because of teacher shortages. There is a growing teacher shortage crisis in this country. Again, we have not seen the Albanese Government do much on this front at all and of course, it’s only going to get worse. There’s also a trial of shortened teacher days and student days in Queensland indicating that teacher shortages are really a profoundly serious problem. Made worse though, because there’s these teacher scholarships which have been announced by the government, more than $50 million and yet they’ve only been offered to student teachers who teach in government schools. So a blatant case of discrimination against non-government schools.

Andrew Bolt: Oh my goodness, sure is. That’s skipped by me. Sarah Henderson, thank you so much indeed for your time. Really appreciate that.

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