Paris teachers strike after attacks by students

27th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 26, 2006 (AFP) - Thousands of teachers went on strike in several of Paris's high immigration suburbs Thursday to demand more government resources following a spate of violent attacks in schools.

PARIS, Jan 26, 2006 (AFP) - Thousands of teachers went on strike in several of Paris's high immigration suburbs Thursday to demand more government resources following a spate of violent attacks in schools.

In the latest incident on Tuesday a 13 year-old grabbed a pregnant teacher by the throat to the applause of several class-mates after she tried to discipline him at a school in the eastern neighbourhood of Montreuil.

Among other attacks in the last week, a history teacher was punched in the face for confiscating a mobile telephone at Sarcelles; a 15 year-old broke a teacher's nose with a head butt at Gisors west of Paris; and a petrol bomb was hurled at a school in Argenteuil.

The worst recent incident was on December 16 in the town of Etampes south of Paris where a 27 year-old art teacher was hospitalised after being stabbed in the stomach by a pupil.

But striking teachers in the Seine-Saint-Denis department of northern Paris — scene of the worst of last November's rioting — said their protest was directed not against the violence but at the centre-right government which they accused of failing to learn the lessons of the unrest.

"These difficult even violent pupils still need to be looked after in schools and given a real future. But the new government policy ... gives the opposite signal: they are going to take away resources from the schools that most need them," Gisèle Jean of the SNES-FSU union said.

The government of President Jacques Chirac has drawn up a list of high-priority schools which it says will get extra funding, but unions say many needy establishments have been omitted.

Unions are also opposed to government ideas to allow schools to set up a permanent police presence on campus, as well as to lower the school leaving age to 14 to let non-academic students pursue vocational apprenticeships.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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