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Tribute to Samuel Paty: what do the 400 incidents recorded at school mean?

The minute of silence organized on Monday, November 2 in tribute to the teacher assassinated in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, was sometimes punctuated with disturbances in the school environment. “400 incidents were recorded”, announced the Ministry of National Education in a press release this Friday, November 6.

→ READ. Homage to Samuel Paty: history teachers facing history

The facts are threefold: refusal to participate or disruption of the minute’s silence (160 cases), apology for terrorism (150 cases) and “A hundred or so events, even more serious, some of which (about ten) may have given rise to legal proceedings: threats, degradations, provocations, etc.”, details the ministry. Most of the incidents reported are from middle school (52%), then high school (27%) and schoolchildren (21%).

Disciplinary proceedings

For the unions, this record is not alarming. “We do not know if these incidents are indicative of a conscious will on the part of the students or if they are more provocations”, judge Stéphane Crochet, general secretary of the SE-UNSA union. “There is a fringe of ill-informed students, who repeat what they hear, but it is not really in the domain of ideology”, considers Valérie Quéric, member of the national executive of the union of management staff SNPDEN. Principal of a college in Chantilly (Oise), she said to herself all the same “Very worried” of “The trivialization of violence in some families”.

On the side of SNUipp, the main union among school teachers, we are talking about“Epiphenomenon”. “A hundred incidents in the first degree out of 6 million schoolchildren, that’s a handful”, says Co-Secretary General Guislaine David.

In addition to criminal prosecution in certain cases, each of these violations is followed by disciplinary proceedings ”, Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said on RTL on Friday. “It is either a mediation within the establishment, or a disciplinary council if it is more serious. With the possibility of a temporary or definitive exclusion ”, specifies Frédérique Rolet, general secretary of Snes-FSU.

The “controversy” over the 2015 figures

After the attack on Charlie hebdo in January 2015, around a hundred incidents related to the minute of silence had been recorded, and “A hundred others” on the “Following days”, according to the minister at the time, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem. “A figure that had been the subject of controversy within the government itself, some considering that it was minimized”, remembers historian Sébastien Ledoux.

The researcher investigated the school world after the 2015 attacks. From his work carried out in the Île-de-France region, he concluded that“A quarter of teachers had been confronted with incidents in January 2015”. That same year, the report “Bring the Republic back to school”, resulting from a Senate commission of inquiry, showed that the results were twice as high as that announced by the ministry, bringing it to 400 incidents. LR rapporteur Jacques Grosperrin added: “The true number is certainly much higher. “

Indeed, “LThe professors declare them to the heads of establishment, who forward them to the dedicated units in each rectorate “, explains Valérie Quéric, for whom the increase in figures in 2020 may be due to the fact that “The institution encouraged them to declare them”. According to Sébastien Ledoux, “Teachers favor dialogue and accept a certain degree of discourse considering that this is part of the adversarial debate and do not report certain facts”. Likewise, explained Jacques Grosperrin in 2015, “School leaders remain reluctant to report incidents for fear of damaging their school’s reputation or being held accountable”.


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