A teacher was stabbed to death by a 16-year-old student while teaching in southwest France on Wednesday, presented as psychologically unstable, a rare tragedy in the country.
According to the Bayonne prosecutor, the perpetrator of the attack used a knife. He remains in police custody and is currently being questioned by police, said prosecutor Jerome Poirier, who has opened an investigation into “murder”. According to him, he was “not known to the police or judicial authorities”.
Two sources familiar with the matter told AFP the young man spoke with “contradictory views” and “proven mental disorders”. According to media reports, he said he was “possessed” and heard voices.
The victim, who could not be revived by emergency services, was a 52-year-old Spanish teacher.
The facts happened in the middle of the morning during a second-grade lesson at Saint-Thomas de Aquin Catholic High School, which has about 1,100 students.
“I saw him very calmly facing the teacher; He approached her, without saying a word, stuck a big knife in her chest,” Inez, 16, told reporters at the exit of the establishment.
“We didn’t know how to react, a student opened the door and we all left. I ran away, I left the company, a friend’s father came to pick me up, I didn’t feel safe in high school,” he added.
“There was never a problem between him and the teacher in class,” the teenager assured.
This is the first time a teacher has been killed on the job in France since history professor Samuel Baty was assassinated in the Paris region on October 16, 2020. A young Russian refugee of Chechen origin was beheaded by a radical Islamist who accused him of showing caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed in class.
A moment of silence
Minister of National Education Bob Ndiaye, who was at the scene, praised the teacher’s “exceptional dedication”.
“It is a sad day for national education,” the minister added, announcing a minute’s silence at 3pm local time on Thursday in colleges and high schools across the country, which are not currently on school holidays.
“The nation is on your side,” President Emmanuel Macron announced in an address to the education community on Twitter, while head of government Elizabeth Bourne shared the “shock and pain of the education community” at St Thomas’ College High School. Aquinas.
Mr. Ndiaye says.
After the attack, students were confined to classrooms for about two hours before leaving the facility in the afternoon, except for the high school students in the slain teacher’s class, who left. Through a psychological section, the AFP reporter noted.
Maha Barguche, a mathematics teacher from the Paris region who is on holiday in the Basque Country, came to lay a bouquet in front of the institution “as a sign of support”: “I’m very sad, it could have happened. To me, it could happen to any teacher. That’s why I came right away.
Attacks on teachers are common in the country, but the AFP has recorded fewer than a dozen murders over the past four decades.
In July 2014, a 34-year-old teacher was stabbed by the mother of a pupil at a school in Albi. In August 1996, the 51-year-old English teacher was killed by two youths, including one of his students, who had failed his undergraduate exams, while he was walking in Tax Feria.
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