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French Teacher Subjected to Death Threats for Asking Student to Remove Islamic Veil by Robert Semonsen

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French Teacher Subjected to Death Threats for Asking Student to Remove Islamic Veil

A French teacher has been subjected to a torrent of death threats and accusations of ‘Islamophobia’ on social media after asking a student to remove her Islamic veil for the baccalaureate examination, the test that must be passed for a high school student to progress their university studies.

The incident—which took place on Thursday, June 16th, at the Lycée Charlemagne high school in the 4th arrondissement of Paris—saw the young Muslim pupil refuse to remove her Islamic veil when asked to do so by the Principal Education Advisor (CPE) to verify her identity, a procedure that’s required by law for all students entering the examination room, Le Figaro reports.

Despite having been repeatedly reminded of the 2004 secular in French schools—a law that prohibits students from wearing symbols and clothing signaling religious affiliation—the female student continually refused to remove the veil. Only after a tense exchange with the CPE did the student finally follow directions. 

The situation did not end at the high school, however. Later that day, on Twitter, a user purporting to be a relative of the student accused the CPE of being “Islamophobic,” and called the day’s events “unacceptable” and acts of “incredible violence.” A series of death threats were also leveled at the educational official. 

Subsequently, as a result of the string of incidents, the Paris prosecutor’s office opened an investigation for “death threats,” “online moral harassment,” and “endangering the lives of others by disseminating information relating to private life.” The investigation is to be carried out by the Central Office for Combating Crimes Against Humanity and Hate Crimes (OCLCH).

The Paris Academy, the academic region of Île-de-France, has condemned the death threats and stated that it has “immediately taken all the necessary measures” to guarantee security at the Lycée Charlemagne for the remaining baccalauréat exams. 

The unsettling situation, which bears resemblance to the tragic case of Samuel Paty, comes as the number of incidents relating to the wearing of the Islamic veil or other traditional forms of Islamic clothing in public schools across France has risen sharply this school year, as The European Conservative previously reported.

Over the past several years, the safety of French school teachers has become a major topic of discussion as violent attacks against them—nearly always carried out by Islamist students or their family members—have become increasingly common. One incident in November of 2020 saw a 14-year-old elementary school student, armed with an electric stun gun, threaten his teacher with “beheading as they did to Samuel Paty” during a unit on free speech.

Robert Semonsen is a political journalist based in Central Europe. His work has been featured in various English-language news outlets in Europe and the Americas. He has an educational background in biological and medical science. His Twitter handle is @R_Semonsen.