Requests for advice in the context of verbal and physical attacks against teachers are increasingly frequent, and these attacks are mostly committed by parents and students. This is the conclusion of the annual barometer of the Autonomous of Secular Solidarity (ASL), an association which works for the protection and legal advice of national education personnel.
75.2% of “professional legal protection” application files relate to aggression or a feeling of aggression (in cases that cannot be qualified legally). A number “a marked increase compared to the 2021 barometer, where all of these files represented 71.1%”. Of this total, 33.5% of cases are opened for defamation cases, 32.4% concern insults and threats, and 9.3% concern assaults. These last two categories are up nearly two points.
The Autonomous Authority notes a 5% drop in cases opened to obtain legal protection, “compensated” by the 5% increase in files opened for requests for advice, the “personalized legal information”. This evolution does not therefore mean that conflicts are less numerous or that the feeling of security is progressing, on the contrary.
Students and legal representatives
For the association, it is the product of greater media coverage of the relational problems encountered by teachers, and of a “increased public and political debate regarding their protection”, especially since the death of Samuel Paty, writes Jean-Louis Linder, vice-president of the ASL. Teachers would now adopt the right reflex, that of getting in touch with the Autonomous before situations escalate to the point of having to ask for protection.
The main perpetrators of attacks, which represent just over 9% of protection application files, are the pupils’ legal representatives (45%) and the pupils themselves (39%). The proportion of verbal aggression is higher in nursery and elementary schools (65%) than in middle and high school, where the balance is reversed with 62% of physical aggression.
The difference between a “verbal attack” and an “insult or threat” may seem tenuous, but ASL justifies this distinction by the persistence of cases where the teacher has “felt attacked” even though the incident of which he was the victim does not have the legal qualification of an assault.
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