Teacher's 'dumb blonde' comment ends in payout

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Melbourne. June 23 : Calling a pupil a "dumb blonde" has cost a primary school teacher a confidential payout and apology, it has emerged.

The teacher was the latest to be hit by discrimination complaints after the pupil's furious mother went to Victoria's discrimination watchdog- the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.

The teacher was accused of constantly harassing the child by passing demeaning comments in class about the girl being blonde.

Acting on the Commission's orders, the teacher was counselled and the girl was transferred to another class.

This case makes part of the 488 education-related discrimination claims investigated by the Commission in last five years.

Commission chief Helen Szoke said that they comply by a zero-tolerance attitude for students and staff.

"A school should be an environment where diversity of staff, students and their families is recognised, and where human rights are respected," The Herald Sun quoted Szoke, as saying.

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