A student could be facing almost $200,000 (£109,000) in legal fees after they were sued by a university employee, claiming he made ‘racist’ comments on social media.
Back in 2013, an administration officer asked Alex Wood to leave a Queensland University of Technology (QUT) computer room, which was set aside for the usage of Indigenous students only, the Brisbane Times reports.
Wood took to Facebook to allegedly write: “Just got kicked out of the unsigned Indigenous computer room. QUT is stopping segregation with segregation.”
Two further students are also be sued under the Racial Discrimination Act, with one supporting the comments and the other adding in his own offensive comments, though this individual has since denied doing so, reportedly, producing a ‘volume of evidence’ against the claim.
Cindy Prior, who reported the claim, is described as ‘an Indigenous woman’ and took offence to the comments.
She has since been forced to take sick leave, with local media reports reporting that she feels like she can’t leave her home and that the stress she has suffered has left her unable to work for more than two and a half years.
According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, under the Act, examples of racial hatred can include ‘racially offensive material on the internet, including e-forums, blogs, social networking sites, and video sharing sites.’
The person in charge of the case, Judge Michael Jarrett, has reserved his decision since the March 11th hearing where the students sought to have the case dismissed.