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They confiscated computers and cellphones, searched under mattresses and inside drawers, and took photos of books and wall ornaments with Quranic verses. Her son — along with two other boys and one girl, all 10 years old — was accused of defending terrorism in a classroom discussion on the freedom of expression at a local public school. The fifth-grade classmates are among at least 14 children and teenagers investigated by the police in recent weeks on accusations of making inappropriate comments during a commemoration for a teacher who was beheaded last month after showing the cartoons in a class on freedom of expression.
It has already been criticized, inside and outside Francefor actions and statements that have risked conflating ordinary French Muslims with people accused of extremism. Call my team, call the ministers.
Still reeling from the beheading, teachers were given strict instructions to report the slightest inappropriate comment, and the police to investigate, according to interviews with teachers, union representatives, and police and judicial officials. While the four children in Albertville are now back in school, the experience has left them traumatized, the parents said. One of the boys, Sohib Harid, wetted himself in his sleep after the raid and said he was now afraid to talk in school.
The children and teenagers got into trouble for speaking during classroom commemorations and discussions of Samuel Paty, the middle school teacher who was beheaded last month in a crime that shocked France and reopened the psychological wounds of attacks by Islamist terrorists that have left more than dead in recent years.
In a nation with millions of public school students, the commemorations and discussions went well over all. A justice ministry spokeswoman said that 14 minors had been held in custody or interrogated in police stations, though she added that the figure might not include reports from all local prosecutors. Cases involving the investigation of at least 17 minors have been reported in the French news media.
Near Marseille, two year-old boys were arrested — one for endorsing the beheading, the other for refusing to stop listening to music with headphones during the minute of silence. Of 17 cases that resulted in police investigations, seven involved Muslim students and one a Roman Catholic, according to interviews by The Times and the local news media; one had no religion, and the religion of the others could not be determined.
So when Mr. Paty was decapitated, the killing was regarded as an attack on France and left a lasting trauma among teachers. The education minister, Mr. Blanquer, asked all public schools to observe a minute of silence in tribute to the slain teacher on Nov. Beyond the minute of silence, teachers were given little guidance on how to discuss the killing in class, leading to confusion, according to several teachers and union officials. She added that teachers were given little opportunity to resolve the incidents within the schools and with the parents, and that a judicial response prevailed.
She is expected to be sentenced to a multiday class on citizenship.
Lilia Parisot, an official at the Nice regional education authority who confirmed the incident, said that she had received clear guidelines from the education ministry to report any incident. In Albertville, the four year-olds belong to families — three of Turkish and one of Algerian descent — who have lived in the city for years. Some have older siblings who attended the same small primary school, Louis Pasteur. In the classroom discussion, the teacher asked the pupils whether he, too, could be beheaded if he showed caricatures of Muhammad, according to interviews with two of the children, four mothers and two fathers.
Nathalie Reveyaz, an education official focusing on secularism in the region that includes Albertville, confirmed that the teacher had asked that question, placing it in the context of caricatures during the reign of Charlemagne. The boys answered that the teacher could Teen girl chat Marseille beheaded, their parents said, but meant it as a statement of fact, not as a threat. The next day, the teacher became alarmed after finding an anonymous letter whose author remains unknown, she said. After the raid, while the children were in custody, the police asked the parents a series of questions: What did they think of the caricatures?
Did they pray?
Did they go to the mosque? Did they observe Ramadan? Did their husbands force them to wear veils? But the incident has left the parents wondering whether they will ever be considered French. The mother of Emira, Ms. Yildirim, 46, said she had lived in France since age 6 and had attended its public schools. Residents of Albertville for 19 years, she and her husband, a builder, run a family construction business. She was active at the school, regularly volunteering on field trips.
The couple even sent their oldest daughter and son, now in their 20s, to a private high school — a Catholic institution — for the quality of the education.Teen girl chat Marseille
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France’s Dragnet for Extremists Sweeps Up Some Schoolchildren, Too