24 November 2023

Ihe tragedy of the assassination of a Spanish teacher, stabbed by one of her 16-year-old students in the Saint-Thomas-d’Aquin high school in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, arouses great emotion and many reactions in the politico-media sphere. Is this event unprecedented? One immediately thinks of the assassination of history and geography professor Samuel Paty on October 16, 2020.

But the differences are obvious: the assassination of Samuel Paty took place outside the college, by a young Chechen who did not belong to the establishment and it was an attack whose Islamist terrorist character does not make doubt. Real antecedents, on the other hand, took place in the past: these were far from arousing the same emotion as today and met with only a weak echo in the political and media sphere.

Thus, for example, the murder of a professor in the college of Saint-Marcel in February 1978; that of a guard beaten to death in Metz by three boys who had come to “avevene” their comrade who was punished in June 1979; the assassination by a stab wound of the headmaster of the Jean-Bart high school in Grenoble by a pupil who did not admit his dismissal, in May 1983. These events were then treated by the press as news items, and hardly aroused political reactions.

Now in the politico-media sphere

The brief of ” World “ of 27 February 1978 is exemplary in this respect: “A 15-year-old student, living in Saint-Marcel (Eure), fatally injured this Saturday morning February 25, around 9:30 a.m. his teacher, Mr. Gérard Burgon, 29 years old, and living in Paris, before turn the gun on him. The drama took place at the Saint-Marcel secondary school. The student, whose identity has not been revealed, shot his teacher with a 7.65 caliber pistol before stabbing himself in the head. Seriously injured, he was transported to Vernon hospital, then to an establishment in the Paris region. A “glue” could be at the origin of this tragedy. »

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers In Saint-Jean-de-Luz, the investigation continues into the motivations of the student who killed his teacher

In general, it was not until the beginning of the 1990s that violence at school left the realm of miscellaneous facts and became social facts that finally took hold of the political and media sphere, with a certain number of related themes. and recurring. Let us mention in particular the“Montet Toutain case”a plastic arts teacher at the Louis-Blériot vocational high school in Etampes who was injured by several stab wounds in class by one of her students in December 2005.

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