Sydney, Oct 28 : A former high school student of Lebanese descent, who developed a phobia of "young Asian men" after allegedly being stabbed at school, is suing the New South Wales Government for negligence.
The 26-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons as he "feared for his life", after he was stabbed in the playground in an allegedly racially motivated attack at Birrong Boys High School in 1998.
The man, whose name was suppressed in the District Court today by Judge Len Levy, is suing the NSW Department of Education for breach of duty of care.
The Lebanese man was 15 when he was allegedly set upon by four youths who kicked, punched and stabbed him in front of a teacher, before yelling: "Don't f*** with the Vietnamese."
The attack left him hospitalised with a collapsed lung, The Stdney Morning Herald reported.
He said that his post-traumatic stress disorder was so serious that he felt imprisoned in Dubai - a place where he moved to for work four years ago - because of the stress he would have experienced if exposed to groups of Asian males in Australia.
The man, whose family still lived in Australia, said he encountered few Asian males in Dubai.
The man's lawyer, Tom Hughes, told the court today that there was racial tension at Birrong Boys High School, which had deeply entrenched racial divisions.
He said the school's grounds at recess had areas where students of Lebanese, Asian, European and Tongan descent congregated.
The court today heard about a scuffle the man had been involved in with a fellow Vietnamese student in 1998.
The incident, which, according to Hughes, arose from a misunderstanding, developed into a scuffle, which was broken up by two teachers.
Hughes said the student had then gone into a class and the Asian student with whom he had scuffled stood at the door and said loudly: "You're dead, you're dead."
The young man said in evidence that he learnt that, during the two days he was in hospital, two young men who were aggressive had tried to get to his room but were prevented by hospital staff. It was not clear who these young men were.
Hughes said that the young man, who had completed his schooling elsewhere, had suffered enormous stress and had required psychiatric treatment and, even 10 years later, the stress was entrenched.
Allen Parker, counsel for the Department of Education, said that the department admitted it had a duty of care but did not concede that it had breached that duty.