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Pupils find school in a leaden context

While this re-entry is marked by terrorism and the health crisis, in what state of mind are children and adolescents approaching re-entry? There are the placid and the stressed. So, while she is going to find her class of 3e in Paris, Louise wonders. “With winter time, it will be dark when we go out. All the shops will be closed and there will be no one in the streets. If I have a problem, who can I ask for help? “, anticipates the schoolgirl. Victor, 7, is much more relaxed. He is even in a rush to go back to school and proud to finally wear a mask, like his older sister and parents. In short, “Like the grown-ups”.

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“Do not pass on your own fears”

While children and adolescents resume their journey to school, college or high school on November 2, in a context marked by both the health crisis and terrorism, the atmosphere weighs on their moral? Be careful not to project reflections of adults on children, relativizes the child psychiatrist Patrice Huerre. “Younger people don’t have the same priorities as adults, he decrypts. For them, what matters most is to find their friends. Of course, the context is anxiety-provoking, but the youngest are less aware of it than the adults. They don’t have the same level of information either. Some have not even heard of the Conflans attack, for example. “

This beautiful carelessness, which is characteristic of youth, acts as a powerful antidote to anxiety and helps to grow, explains the psychiatrist. “Provided, however, that parents do not transmit their own fears to their children.” They are much more permeable to the climate of the time and have every reason to be concerned about the harshness of the world.

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They must, however, as much as possible, spare their children. Even if it means getting help themselves, by turning, for example, to support networks such as the École des parents (1) or Interservice parents (2) which offer help lines. At the end of the line, psychologists listen and guide. Parents’ federations can also offer relays: FCPE, Peep, Apel, etc.

“We will have to really think about the differences”

At the head of the FCPE, the main federation of parents of public education students, Rodrigo Arenas agrees. For him, however, the political priority was not given, in this return, to education and children. ” How are 6-11 year olds going to understand that they have to wear the mask at school when they are not supposed to wear it on the streets? Where is the consistency ? It would have been better to bet on social distancing, by making municipal premises that remain vacant since confinement available to schools. “

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This was also provided for in the July health protocol remained a dead letter, argues the head of the FCPE. “Does it cost too much to split the classes ?, pretends to question the activist. In Italy, on the other hand, a massive effort has been made. Some 80,000 teachers have been recruited in recent months, as well as thousands of psychologists and school assistants. We did not do any of that. Let us not pretend to be surprised if the children suffer from it. “


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