The racism broke out during a heated game of foursquare in the schoolyard.
Wol Dut, who was then 18 years old, had just lost.
"Get out you f---ing black c---," his classmate yelled.
This was one of many racist incidents that the South Sudanese refugee endured during the eight years he spent in three Victorian state and Catholic schools. "It made me feel like I didn't belong," he said.
Often, the racism was more subtle.
Like on the first day of Year 11, when Wol's teacher ordered him to sit in the front row of the classroom and asked if he spoke English.
"There was an assumption that I needed help," the now 24-year-old said.
"People had never seen a person like me before, they were uncomfortable."
A new paper published in the International Journal of Inclusive Education paints a troubling image of South Sudanese refugee students' experience in Australian schools.
It comes at a distressing time for Melbourne's Sudanese community, who say they are being racially targeted as debate rages about the city's so-called African gangs crisis.
University of South Australia research fellow Dr Melanie Baak interviewed six South Australian students about their time at school, and without being prompted, almost every student brought up racism.
They spoke about being called n-----, told to 'f--- off black b------" and to go back to where they came from.
The racism didn't just come from their peers.
One student, Achai, said a teacher barred her and an Aboriginal classmate from performing in the school choir based on their appearance.
"All the kids are white, but she got them in ... we are in the choir, but she wouldn't let us in the special choir for doing the concert thing."
Despite the racism, most of the students said they had a positive experience at school.
Separate research has found that four out of five students born in non-English-speaking countries experience racism in school at least once a month.
Dr Baak said the resettlement of Sudanese refugees in Australia since 2000 had created a "visibly different minority group".
But she said many schools were uncomfortable discussing race and racism.
"Schools need to identify, address and overcome racism to be truly inclusive spaces," she said.
"These students are experiencing racism every day from peers, teachers and parents."
Racism impacts a student's engagement with school, employment outcomes and sense of belonging, Dr Baak said.
Fairfax Media understand that the Victorian Education Department is identifying schools which have a high number of African Australian students who are dropping out in the hope of improving retention.
A Department spokesman said it was completely unacceptable for any student to experience racism.
"All Victorian schools must create respectful environments for all their students, and we encourage anyone with complaints or allegations of racial discrimination in a government school to report them to their school principal," he said.
Dr Berhan Ahmed, the chief executive of the African Australia Multicultural Employment and Youth Services, said many schools had low expectations of African Australian students.
"Because of their skin colour, they are not expected to perform like other students," he said.
"The other students are told they have potential to get to universities, but these students are told they should look at alternatives."
Wol can relate.
He said when his class split into groups for projects he was always the last to be chosen.
"If you are outside playing sports, you get picked first, but if you were in class you were picked last. It was a stereotype."
After finishing school, Wol worked as a teaching aide and observed black students being pulled out of class and put into remedial lessons, regardless of their ability.
He said schools need to do more to tackle racism.
"I feel like we get looked at as a problem and are judged by our cover. Then once you get used to someone you are friendly to them."