2 February 2024

Po face up to the ills of society, the school is called upon more and more. If it is above all the place of awakening, learning and emancipation through knowledge, there can be no success for students in poor health. However, by the very admission of teachers and the entire educational community, our children are not doing well.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, school health reached its peak to make the school a protective community for young people bruised in their souls. In 2023, the state of health emergency at school is declared again.

At the end of the pandemic crisis, in a context of geopolitical and environmental tensions that affect the morale of our society, there are many testimonies reporting impaired mental health, from an early age. Ill-being among young people translates into a significant increase in anxiety-depressive disorders, suicidal thoughts and even suicide attempts, as Public Health France recently noted in an article published in February.

Intra-family violence and risky sexual behavior punctuate all reports, in all establishments and in all social environments. Sedentary habits and high food prices put the risk of obesity on the poorest families.

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Addictions keep renewing themselves with ingenuity. The use of cigarettes has decreased, but it has been replaced by the scourge of disposable vaporizers and, of course, by the increasingly precocious use of recreational drugs, such as cannabis, for which a real prevention policy remains dead point.

Many pathologies

We must put prevention back at the heart of our school policies. This brilliant intuition of the founding fathers of our school, which consisted in combining health with the learning of fundamental knowledge, has gradually withered away. There are countless alerts on school medicine that is hanging by a thread and the goodwill of passionate professionals.

Despite budgetary resources which have never wavered in recent years, school doctors and nurses, psychologists and social workers, who constitute the pillars of school health policy, struggle to respond to the numerous pathologies which affect students today. It is therefore necessary to have the courage to take back the management of health at school head-on, putting aside the corporatisms which have too often justified the postponement of any reform.

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