MARY Franks is shocked that in 2020 a school teacher who is there to protect students can make them feel so unsafe.
She is referring to an incident involving her 14-year-old daughter Alaura Fabian, which took place at Singleton High School in NSW's Hunter Valley on Tuesday last week.
Alaura and her classmates were in a home economics class where a teacher was using a power point presentation to talk about diversity.
"At the time the teacher then went onto speak about Aboriginal people, describing them as dole bludgers and criminals," said Mary.
"Then she went on and said the best thing that ever happened to Aboriginal people was the colonisation of Australia.
"My daughter along with the other indigenous students left the classroom crying as they were so upset. But Alaura, on the way out, said to the teacher this is not right and the reply from the teacher was she was too white-skinned."
"At this point Alaura replied I am white-skinned because my ancestors were raped."
For the Franks family and thousands of other indigenous and non-indigenous people who heard about this incident last week and over the weekend the anger is palpable as it has taken place at the time when societies across the globe are grappling with racism in the wake of the Black Lives Matters movement.
Mary said she was very proud of her daughter for taking pride in her culture and standing up to such racist comments.
"But the whole episode has taken a toll on my beautiful warrior - she has become withdrawn and won't attend classes where that teacher is still working," Mary said.
The family went to Singleton High School last Wednesday to discuss the incident and, according to Mary, the school preferred to defend the teacher rather than confront the issues.
What was particularly upsetting for Mary was the fact that despite years of so-called change and many of the initiatives at the school specifically designed for indigenous students like the Clontarf Foundation and The Girls Academy her daughter is still subject to racist comments.
"I was racially abused while I attended the same school - so despite everything really nothing has changed," she said.
A spokesperson for the NSW Department of Education said:
The school and the Department do not condone racism in any form.
The school prides itself on its strong history of support for Indigenous students and the opportunities it has been able to provide.
The school received complaints that a teacher had made racist comments during a lesson on diversity.
The complaints were immediately followed up with the school's Anti Racism Contact Officer and senior staff, the school met with the family, and support was arranged for students.
The teacher apologised for her comments to the class, student and her family.
The Department is investigating the matter and the teacher is on alternate duties until investigations are complete.