One year after Samuel Paty’s assassination, teachers remain traumatized

The Samuel Paty assassination looks November 13 to teachers. For the first time, a colleague of theirs was killed at the gates of his school because of his job. A year later, each teacher still remembers what he was doing when he learned of the drama, at the very beginning of the All Saints holidays. The shock gripped the whole profession. Professor of history and geography in the Academy of Dijon, Emmanuel Menetrey learns of the attack against Samuel Paty on television and enters “A state of bewilderment”. The next day, when more precise information about who Samuel Paty was started to circulate, he burst into tears. “He was the same age as me [47 ans], we exercised the same profession in the same discipline. I cried as if I had lost a member of my family ”, says the teacher.

Like Emmanuel Menetrey, many identified with Samuel Paty. First and foremost history and geography teachers. It is they who are at the forefront: they are responsible for moral and civic education. “I teach this free speech course every year. Obviously, I said to myself: it could have been me! “, says, like many others, Laurence Bardeau-Almeras, a history-geography teacher at the Toulouse academy.

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Since the Paris attacks in November 2015, everyone was aware that public schools could be a target of terrorists. ISIS’s French-language propaganda magazine clearly hadt identified at this time teachers as “Corrupters” To “Fight and kill”. But from there to taking action … “We all realized a year ago that we could be killed because we work as a teacher”, is still surprised Fabien Salesse, teacher in the Lyon academy and college manager at the Association of History and Geography Teachers (APHG).

Nothing has changed

The need to react collectively was quickly felt. Despite the holidays and to break the isolation, the teachers called on each other to share their emotion and work on the answers to be given to the students when they returned from the holidays. The procrastination of the Ministry of National Education around the modalities of homage in the establishments, and in particular a moment of consultation – finally discarded – left to the teachers on the day of the start of the school year, left a bitterness still strong today. . “We once again had the impression of not being supported by our hierarchy, as we have the feeling of not being protected by our institution in the face of parents who no longer trust us”, laments Marc Meissonnier, teacher in the Clermont-Ferrand academy.

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