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French Prime Minister Jean Castex and Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer attend a memorial for Samuel Paty French Prime Minister Jean Castex and Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer attend a memorial service for slain teacher Samuel Paty at a school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, near Paris, Nov. 2, 2020 (Pool photo by Thomas Coex via AP).

In France, Teachers Tasked With Fighting Radicalization Face an Impossible Job

Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020

Editor’s note: The following article is one of 30 that we’ve selected from our archives to celebrate World Politics Review’s 15th anniversary. You can find the full collection here.

When Rachid Zerrouki, a teacher in Marseille, headed back to his classroom last Monday, he braced himself for the worst. He hadn’t seen his students since the brutal killing of Samuel Paty, a 47-year-old middle school teacher in the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, who was beheaded by a young Chechen refugee days after he showed his class cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad during a lesson about freedom of expression. With school back in session after a holiday break, the Education Ministry had instructed teachers to have students participate in a minute of silence to express solidarity with Paty and all teachers throughout France. ...

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