Have school principals been encouraged to denounce students and teachers who refuse to wear a mask?

A primary school in Bischwiller (Alsace), November 2, 2020 (illustration) – PATRICK HERTZOG / AFP

  • It is a surprising e-mail circulating on Facebook, to say the least: signed by an inspector of National Education, he invites school directors to send him the contact details of the families of students who refuse to wear a mask.
  • He also asks them to report teachers who are resistant to this health measure against Covid-19.
  • Contacted by 20 Minutes, the academy of Poitiers confirms the authenticity of the message but deplores an “individual initiative” at the antipodes of the instructions given to the teaching staff.

What if denouncing was the best way to ensure that wearing a mask is well respected in primary schools to fight against the spread of the coronavirus? On Facebook, the screenshot of an e-mail signed by a “national education inspector” and inciting such a practice provokes many reactions of anger, indignation or even disgust.

“Ladies and gentlemen, school directors, thank you for kindly giving me the name, first name, email address, and telephone number of families who would still be opposed to wearing a mask for their child. The prefect gave very precise instructions to respond to these situations ”, we can read in the first lines of this message.

But the parents of students are not the only ones concerned by this instruction, as shown by the end of the message addressed to the establishments of the district of La Rochelle (Charente-Maritime): “In addition, thank you for pointing out the teachers to me. who refuse to wear the mask or who do not put it on for certain activities. “

“This is the pressure exerted by the government on school principals who, in fact, for the most part collaborate in mistreating children and in threatening or putting pressure on families,” protests for its part the Facebook page relaying this screenshot.


Contacted by 20 Minutes, the Poitiers academy confirms the authenticity of the message: “It has been sent, but it is a very clumsy email and an individual initiative. No instructions have been given to this effect either by the academic services of National Education or by the Prefecture of Charente-Maritime. “

Christine Gourribon, departmental co-secretary of the SNUipp-FSU 17 teachers’ union, underlines the emotion aroused by this e-mail within the teaching staff: “The colleagues were considerably shocked by this message calling for denunciation, and we have immediately informed the Dasen [directrice académique des services de l’Éducation nationale], so I don’t think the email was acted upon. But this is not the first time that this inspector has made awkward words. “

A “dialogue approach” for disputes relating to wearing a mask.

The academy of Poitiers, which indicates to have “made the necessary to meet this inspector”, ensures moreover that the personnel of the primary schools are encouraged to adopt an “approach of dialogue and pedagogy but certainly not of denunciation” for the relative disputes. wearing a mask.

“What we ask our teachers or school directors, in case of difficulties on the subject, is to be able to inform us so that we can analyze each situation and dialogue with the families concerned, knowing that some teachers feel helpless in the face of families resistant to wearing masks. Our intention is both to preserve the health and safety of students and staff alike and to ensure that all children attend school, ”she explains.

A reality on the ground confirmed by Christine Gourribon: “There is no problem with families, disagreements are always resolved through discussion since they accept each time the children wear the mask. As for colleagues who refuse to wear a mask, these are extremely rare situations and, again, after discussion, they end up wearing it because they know that it is compulsory. “

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