“Astonishment”, “awe”, “bewilderment”: the world of education was stunned Friday evening after the beheading of a history teacher who had shown caricatures of Muhammad to his students.
“It is the Republic which is attacked” with “the despicable assassination of one of its servants”, reacted the Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, on Twitter. “Our unity and our firmness are the only answers to the monstrosity of Islamist terrorism. We will face it,” added the minister.
He received Saturday at 9 am, with the Prime Minister, representatives of staff and parents of students and promises that he will address by video “all teachers, staff and families.”
Come in the evening to the college of the decapitated professor, Emmanuel Macron greeted “all the teachers of France”, affirming “that we are with them, that the whole nation will be there, by their sides, today and tomorrow for the protect and defend them, allow them to do their job which is the most beautiful there is: to make free citizens “.
On Friday, a teacher was beheaded in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (Yvelines) and his alleged attacker was killed by the police in the neighboring town of Eragny (Val-d’Oise). According to a police source, the victim, a history and geography teacher at the college in Bois-d’Aulne, had recently shown his students caricatures of Mohammed during a course on freedom of expression.
“We are in shock”, says Snes-FSU
“We are in shock,” Sophie Vénétitay, of Snes-FSU, the first secondary school union, told AFP shortly after the disclosure of these facts. “There is a lot of fear tonight, a lot of emotion”. “A colleague was assassinated because he did his job using the support of caricature”, she added, referring to an “attack on the heart of the profession of professor which consists in teaching but also in training citizens, build enlightened opinions by comparing different opinions “.
Same emotion on the side of SE-Unsa: “it is the horror that strikes the school of the Republic”, launched its secretary general, Stéphane Crochet. “The whole educational community is deeply upset, the staff, the students, the families”. He called for “national unity around the school to reject violence and obscurantism”.
Sud Education expresses its horror
“Teachers must be able to address various subjects of the program in the classroom using the teaching aids that seem relevant to them without having to fear reprisals,” the federation wrote in a statement. Franck Collard, president of the Federation of History and Geography Teachers (APHG), recalled that moral and civic education (EMC) courses were reinforced after the 2015 attacks.
“Normally, colleagues are armed so as not to shock the conscience,” he said. “But it is sometimes difficult, it remains a heavy burden for teachers,” he continued. “Tonight, the colleagues are stunned and feel a little helpless.” Some parents of students were moved last week, especially on social networks, after the current use of the cartoons by the teacher.
“Working on this freedom of expression is what we all do.”
“There may be different types of educational practices, but killing someone because he teaches freedom of expression is awful,” said Christine Guimonnet, general secretary of the APHG. Without wanting to comment on the context, which will be the subject of an investigation, she recalled that “working on this freedom of expression is what we all do”. “There is what is in the programs, and the interstices in which we slip,” she said. “Students need to have intellectual tools to understand that religion is not just a spiritual element but also a subject of contention,” she noted for example.
After a “first reaction of fear”, Jean-Rémi Girard, president of Snalc (secondary union) is now asking that “justice be done”. “We need to understand the chain of events, to understand how you can end up beheaded when you are a teacher in the 21st century.”
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