Schoolgirl threatens teacher with knife as tensions rise in French schools

Schoolgirl threatens teacher with knife as tensions rise in French schools
Source: Pixabay

A 12-year-old schoolgirl threatened a teacher with a knife at a school in northern France on Wednesday, the latest in a growing number of incidents that have raised tensions in the French education system.

No-one was injured in the incident in the northwestern city of Rennes but prosecutors said that they have opened a criminal investigation.

“This morning, a pupil threatened a teacher with a knife during a lesson. The pupils, shocked, were immediately moved to safety,” the local education authority said in a statement.

Born in 2011, the schoolgirl “came to class armed with a large knife with the apparent intention of killing her English teacher,” said Rennes prosecutor Rennes Philippe Astruc.

“During the lesson, in class, she brandished the knife at the victim who fled running” before she was “disarmed by the staff of the establishment” of the Hautes Ourmes junior high school, he added.

There have been growing tensions in schools in France, which has large Muslim and Jewish communities, sometimes linked to the war between Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.

In October, a radicalised Islamist stabbed his former teacher Dominique Bernard to death in the northern town of Arras.

Earlier this week teachers at a school outside Paris refused to work after a group of pupils objected to the showing in class of a painting by Renaissance master Giuseppe Cesari containing several nude women.

Meanwhile, a French court last week convicted six teenagers for their role in the 2020 killing of teacher Samuel Paty outside his secondary school near Paris by a radicalised Islamist.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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