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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

France: Troubles are mounting in schools, mortally threatened teacher says

By: V4 Agency

The teacher requiring months of police protection for having received death threats has left the field fearing his safety. In his recently published book, he recounts his own experiences, writing about how Islamism has seeped into schools. He says he knows of at least eight teachers whose lives have been threatened in face-to-face encounters with parents fuelled by Islamist motives. He says nothing has changed in French education since the assassination of Samuel Paty, a history teacher beheaded by a radical Islamist. In fact, he insisted that the situation has grown even worse.

The book was written by a French philosophy teacher named Didier Lemaire, who became publicly known this February for speaking openly about the intensity of Islamism in schools. Mr Lemaire wanted to protect the youth in the town of Trappes – in his home departement of Yvelines – from being completely engulfed by Islamic influence, but his good intentions were misunderstood and the enraged parents of his students repeatedly threatened to kill him. The situation devolved to a point where Mr Lemaire needed police protection to go to work. Eventually, unable to withstand the pressure, he left not only the teaching profession, but also his town of residence. In a statement to Sud Radio in February, he said that although he did not want to, he was forced to give up teaching because he no longer felt safe.

Didier Lemaire, who disappeared from public view for a while, is sounding his voice again, this time in the form of his recent book. In “A Letter from a Hussar of the Republic,” he writes about the relationship between secularism and school, detailing his own experiences and recounting what he had heard and behaviours he had seen from students and their parents at the school.

Responding to a question by the CNews news portal’s reporter, the former teacher in Trappes said he was doing fine. He said he could not teach teach for security reasons, adding that since the beheading of history teacher Samuel Paty by a radical Islamist, nothing has changed in French education. On the contrary, he believes things have turned even worse.

Didier Lemaire stressed that he knows about at least eight teachers who were mortally threatened by the parents of their students, all on the basis of Islamist motives. These teachers threatened by Islamists are not under protection, yet nothing is happening, Mr Lemaire added.

In his book, Mr Lemaire underlines that he has never judged his students by their descent, regarding all of them as citizens of the French Republic, adding however that this was no longer possible. The philosophy teacher says the social pressure has grown so big that students are now living in two completely different worlds, separated from each other. Regarding the massacre in Charlie Hebdo’s editorial office, Mr Lemaire said students in his classes were deeply divided over the attack, adding that some of his students agreed with the assailants. He also pointed out that he was in charge of some very complex classes in Trappes’ secondary school, including students who were professing Salafist views and other Muslim students too, who generally loved France. In response to a question by a journalist at Le Figaro, Mr Lemaire said he was pessimistic, because the French government does not have a policy that could prevent Islamist attacks. There are more and more killings, which could – in a few years or even months – trigger a series of murders across the entire country and lead to a guerrilla war of sorts. In his book, the former teacher warns his readers of this possibility.

Mr Lemaire believes that teachers should be protected and school directors must be reminded that there are some radicalised individuals amongst the students’ parents – typically registered on a French watchlist called S files – who pose a particular threat to society. Besides all this, parents must also be prevented from using their children as a means to put pressure on the schools. Didier Lemaire believes that it’s the state’s duty to protect these children, who have been abandoned by authorities for many years.

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