France's teachers denounce classroom violence
A video posted on Snapchat showing a high school student holding a pistol to his teacher's head has caused an outcry on Twitter. Under the hashtag PasDeVague (Don't Make Waves) teachers are posting their experiences with school violence. How serious is the problem and what are its causes?
Left in the lurch by school adminstrators
While the problem must not be blown out of proportion the teachers must be taken seriously, sociologist Benjamin Mignard advises in Le Monde:
“Since the mid-1990s we've seen the emergence of a very alarmist discourse every time something like this happens, although the number of violent incidents has remained stable and is by no means exploding. ... By contrast, the success of the hashtag PasDeVague on Twitter shows in my view that teachers do face real difficulties, and that they feel left in the lurch by the school management. Teachers often believe their superiors don't support them: all the studies show that.”
Youths not taught respect
Teachers and parents are equally responsible for the fact that youths don't respect their fellow humans, writes teacher and author Barbara Lefebvre in Le Figaro:
“When I watched this video I was struck by the teacher's passivity, as if this were the umpteenth time something like this had happened. Is it not also the climate she created in the classroom that allowed the students to take things this far? ... It must be said, however, that this young man's behaviour is first and foremost the result of the education he received at home. Parents are their children's first teachers. The example they set forges the child's first idea of himself and of human relations. The way in which parents demand that a child respect others outside of the family is constitutive of his future capacity to adapt to different environments.”