What will ultimately be the tribute to Samuel Paty in schools?

What will ultimately be the tribute to Samuel Paty in schools?
What will ultimately be the tribute to Samuel Paty in schools?

A sign during the demonstration in Paris on October 18 in tribute to Samuel Paty. – D. Bancaud / 20minutes

  • The start of the school year, which was to be postponed to 10 a.m. on Monday to give the teaching teams time to prepare a tribute to Samuel Paty will finally be kept on the usual schedule, Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer announced to staff on Friday evening.
  • If a minute of silence will be observed on Monday in his honor, teachers will have until the end of November to work on an educational sequence around freedom of expression.

How to welcome students after the All Saints holidays and talk to them about the Conflans attack? Monday will be a moment of emotion and reflection in schools to pay tribute to Professor Samuel Paty, beheaded in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine in October by a terrorist.

Initially, the Ministry of Education had planned to postpone the start of the school year to 10 a.m., to allow teachers to prepare. But given the security and health circumstances, it was decided to change the program. “All students will resume lessons as usual,” writes Jean-Michel Blanquer in an email sent to AFP. A minute of silence will take place at 11 am in homage to Samuel Paty, after reading Jean Jaurès’ letter to teachers, “preferably in the classrooms, and if sanitary conditions allow it, in the courtyard of the establishment ”. “This time can be preceded by a pedagogical time in class”, adapted to the age of the students, around the values ​​of the Republic and its school, also specifies the ministry. But teachers may decide to take their time to prepare a pedagogical sequence, which should take place before the end of November.

“I intend to display the photo of Samuel Paty in my room”

This change in schedule has upset some teachers who responded to our call for witnesses: “I feel revolted, anxious, and I no longer have any confidence in this institution which no longer even knows how to honor the memory of those who still allow it to stand up when she staggers a little more every day, ”says Agathe.

Other teachers already have their idea to pay tribute to the murdered teacher, like Sara: “I plan to display the photo of Samuel Paty (the one where we see him in his class at work) in my room above. my desk. I won’t talk about it, only if the students want to discuss it. I believe that all this speaks for itself ”. Jean, professor of geo history and EMC in high school, reflected on how he would approach the subject with his students: “The main thing will be to discuss and make people understand the issues surrounding this freedom of expression and the dangers linked to this extremism, ”he explains.

“I’ll play the U2 song to them”

“My colleagues and I prepared a session on secularism and freedom of expression, which is based on various documents that can be used with college students of various ages,” Agathe also explains. Agnes, a college English teacher in Essonne, has also planned her teaching sequence: “One hour will be devoted to a reminder of secularism and freedom of expression by each head teacher with his class. For my part, I will play the song of U2 to them [One, la chanson du groupe sur laquelle le cercueil de Samuel Paty a fait son entrée dans la cour de la Sorbonne lors de l’hommage national] and texts in English on this event, as well as its repercussions in the English-speaking world ”.

But some, like Julien, are in full doubt: “I tell myself that we have to show these caricatures because that’s what starts everything. If I really do my job, which is to train future citizens, I have to show them, study them, analyze them, but my ministry implies that this is not an appropriate document. I am a history teacher, I know that it is to step back to jump better, because in ten years, we will study the events of 2020 which opened a new page of French history and we will have to analyze these documents which had a central role. The critical analysis of documents is the heart of my profession. So what do I do to pay tribute to Samuel Paty? », He asks. Like many of his sisters and brothers, Julien is waiting to be guided by the Ministry of National Education. “It would be safer for everyone to have only a speech, a type of intervention decided in high places. In this way, we would be protected by numbers and our unique message would gain in strength and clarity. I could see this in the form of a video sequence prepared by the ministry, which then serves as a support to germinate the debate among the students, ”suggests David. The Ministry of Education recalls that educational resources are already available for teachers who so wish. But not all teachers seem to know …



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