A COLLEGE in Lyon, France, has gone on strike to show its support for one of their teachers, who was verbally attacked by a parent.
The teacher, at Les Batteries college (secondary school, equivalent of years 7 to 10 of the UK system) is now forced to change schools, which his colleagues have deemed “scandalous”, holding a strike to challenge the decision of the Rectorate.
The events took place on November 9, when a parent verbally attacked the History-Geography teacher regarding the content of his lessons. Following the family’s refusal to reach an agreement he filed a complaint for assault and defamation. Since then, he has been on sick leave.
On January 4, he did not return to school, his colleagues explain that despite him being the victim, he has been forced by the authorities to change school, “he has had to leave by the back door, on the sly”, they say, outraged.
All the teachers from the school agreed to go on strike and no lessons were taught on Monday, January 4, when the students returned to school, and at midday, they gathered in front of the Rectorate, accused of giving no support to the teacher.
On November 15, the daughter of the parent responsible for the attack, came to school with a knife. She was expelled for one day and no further action was taken.
Teachers claim that they do not feel safe, and if the content of their lessons is allowed to be questioned by parents, then they will be forced to self-censure. This teacher in particular, they say, had been active in helping troubled students and organising events to pay homage to Samuel Paty, the teacher murdered in Paris.
The teacher, with 17 years experience, has said that he will finish the academic years and then plans a career change, as he no longer feels he can teach properly in the current school environment.
Meanwhile, the education authorities have issued a statement expressing their support for the teacher and any other victim of abuse in the academic community, while saying that the decision to change schools was one suggested by the teacher and that they have simply made the process smoother for him.
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