A Melbourne high school has come under fire after students were allegedly dressed up us Arabs in what was believed to be a cruel anti-Semitic stunt.

The shocking allegation comes just one month after a federal court ruled that the same school failed to address anti-Semitism and left five Jewish students open to bullying and harassment.

Brighton Secondary College, located 11km south east from Melbourne’s CBD, was today one of many schools around the country to partake in the annual “muck-up day’ festivities.

The annual event is a Year 12 celebration to mark the end of the academic year and often involves dress ups, organised pranks and practical jokes.

While most of the shenanigans are seen as harmless fun, they sometimes get out of hand and can lead to serious disciplinary action due to destructive, violent, dangerous or offensive behaviour.

Earlier today, Melbourne radio station 3AW broke the news that a group of students from Brighton Secondary College dressed up in Arab attire, which has been described as a “vicious, cruel and hateful” stunt aimed to antagonise Jewish students amid the current Israel-Hamas conflict, that has left those on both sides emotionally charged.

Brighton is home to a large Jewish population.

Chair of the Anti-Defamation Commission, Dr Dvir Abramovich, condemned the student’s actions on host Neil Micthell’s program, voicing his disappointment and issuing a powerful statement to the public on behalf of the Jewish community.

“I am going to try and hold it together and not break down.” the emotional Jewish leader told presenter Neil Mitchell.

“I’ve spoken to leadership at Brighton Secondary College. There was a small number of students who came to muck up day dressed with Arab attire.

“They were taken to the principal’s office and they were instructed to immediately take off their costumes.

“As far as I understand, the school is taking it very seriously. There will be disciplinary repercussions, and a statement is now being prepared by the Department of Education.

“This was mean-spirited, it was vicious, it was cruel and it was hateful.”

While the presenter agreed, he pointed out that the act was done by secondary students and that the appropriate actions were being taken to punish those involved.

In response, Mr Abramovich spoke directly to leaders, political figures and those in power.

“I’ve got a message if I can… History will judge them… where were they when Jewish students needed them?” he said.

“We just had an incident at Coles where a Jewish woman was threatened by an Arab looking man. History will judge them.

“Did they stand with the students, or will they stand with the Jewish community? They are very happy to stand up for other causes, but where there are Jews, will they stand up and support the Jewish community?

“I’m telling you now…there will be a spill over of tensions. The Australian Jewish community and the Melbourne Jewish community will be singled out and targeted with vilification, intimidation, threats and maybe even violence.

“It is just a sad fact of life when we have these kinds of conflicts. Anti-Semitism is already surging.”

News.com.au reached out to Brighton Secondary College for a statement and were referred to the Victorian Department of Education.

The Department has been contacted for comment.

According to an article by the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC), the percentage of students at Brighton Secondary College who identified as Jewish had dropped from 40 per cent a decade ago, to “just a handful” currently, with the article adding that “it was implied that BSC is no longer seen as a safe place for Jewish students to attend”.

Last month, a federal court judge found the State of Victoria and the principal of Brighton Secondary College had breached the Racial Discrimination Act, after former students said they were subjected to anti-Semitic bullying at the school.

The students will receive compensation payouts totalling about $435,000, with Justice Debbie Mortimer ruling that the principal of Brighton Secondary College failed to properly address anti-Semitism between 2015 and 2020.

Five former students, Liam Arnold-Levy, Guy Cohen, Zack Snelling and brothers Matt and Joel Kaplan, alleged they experienced anti-Semitic bullying, discrimination and negligence at the school, including being subject to high levels of anti-Semitic graffiti and harassment from other students.

The court found that Mr Minack “took a different and less favourable approach” to the bullying and harassment of Jewish students than he would have taken to other vulnerable minority groups.

“There was an inexplicable and unusual tolerance for anti Semitic graffiti and a preparedness to ignore, downplay and take less seriously the complaints made by Jewish students and their families,” Justice Mortimer ruled.

“There was also a disinclination to adopt any systemic school wide steps to address anti-Semitic student behaviour.”

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