Jean-Michel Blanquer accused of instrumentalizing a high school union: “A case from nothing”

Mediapart and Liberation “are trying to make a deal out of nothing”. Jean-Michel Blanquer chose to deny en bloc this Sunday evening the accusations made by the two newspapers about the Avenir lycéen union, which the Minister of Education is suspected of having set up from scratch for his benefit.

Asked about RTL to find out if he or the ministry had used this union to break off any dialogue with the high school unions opposed to his reforms, in particular that of the bac, he replied firmly: “Of course not. “

Troubled relationships

Saturday, Release published a long article claiming that this high school union created in 2018, which stood out for its defense of government reforms, had “germinated” in the ministry with the idea of ​​”serving communication” from Mr. Blanquer. Clairanne Dufour, “one of the founders of Avenir lycéen”, told the daily that “it took time to understand it, the real objective of the Minister was to use it to exclude other unions”.

The article indicates that the director of the DGESCO (General Directorate of School Education) at the time, Jean-Marc Huart, was linked to those in charge of Avenir lycéen and that the rectorates collaborated in the drafting of union press releases, favorable to the reforms of the ministry.

Mediapart had himself revealed in early November that Avenir high school had received 65,000 euros in grants in 2019 that he had squandered in food expenses and luxury hotels. These accusations provoked a union outcry and led LFI to call for a parliamentary commission of inquiry.

“It’s them who do that, it’s not me”

“Why not a commission of inquiry? It can be interesting. I like it when there are investigations, it is very important for democracy, “replied Mr. Blanquer on RTL, while accusing LFI of being a” pyromaniac firefighter “.

According to him, this party “has been seeking for years to have an influence on the high school and student environment”. “The links are enormous between LFI and a series of organizations. They’re the ones who do that, it’s not me, ”he said. Words reminiscent of those he made about an alleged Islamogauchism within universities, the left-wing student union UNEF or even LFI.

The minister also minimized any financial drifts at Avenir lycéen. “You just have high school kids who maybe unexpectedly spent the money they had. I immediately called for an investigation into this. It is not more than that ”, affirmed the Minister.

“Nobody has manipulated us”, defends a co-founder

After the Liberation article, the high school unions denounced Saturday a “state propaganda” and an attempt by the Ministry of Education “to stifle” the protest of young people. The day after the publication of the Mediapart article, Avenir lycéen reacted on Twitter by denouncing “unverified facts” attributed to “previous terms of office”, and announced the resignation of eight of its leaders.

Through the voice of its co-founder Nathan Monteux, “Avenir lycéen” on Saturday defended its independence and its right “to carry a voice other than that of the far left trade union”. “We can be young and get involved to change things and not just to block the country. Our choice was clear: the proposal. Propose and put an end to the systematic opposition ”, indicated Mr. Monteux in a press release.

“No one manipulated us. At no time has anyone in the Ministry of National Education used our movement ”, added the one who was for a time responsible for youth communication with Macron in the Rhône.

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