Samuel-Paty College in Conflans: “the subject is still too sensitive”

Each year, a tribute is paid to Samuel-Paty, on the occasion of the anniversary of his assassination, in front of the college where he practiced. (©City of Conflans)

“To bring the memory of Samuel Paty to life by taking the time for the necessary work of mourning. This is what the City of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (Yvelines) advocates in a press release dated Wednesday May 17, 2023, following questions from the press about the absence of a place paying tribute to the history-geography professor. , murdered two years ago. Particularly at the Bois-d’Aulne college, where the martyred teacher worked.

“Time for the necessary work of mourning”

The town hall of Conflans insists that renaming the college must go through three votes: that of the board of directors of the establishment, then that of the municipal council and finally the vote of the Departmental Council. “Today, a survey of parents of students indicates that they are not yet ready for it. In addition, many teachers are against it: the subject is still too sensitive, ”says the community.

“Personally, I am in favor of the idea of ​​renaming the college after Samuel Paty, but the decision does not belong to the municipality”, confides Laurent Brosse, the mayor (Dvd) of Conflans.*100006 *

Last October, a new tribute was paid to Samuel-Paty. (©Archives)

“I know the trauma it has been for the students and colleagues of Samuel Paty. We must give them time to mourn. This may seem long, but we must not give in to the empire of the reaction imposed on us by the media time. As mayor, I especially want to respect the necessary work of mourning. The death of Samuel Paty marked the Conflanais too much for us to bear to see his name used in controversy. »

The mayor “supportive, personally”

The City of Conflans thus lists the “concrete tributes” paid for the time being to Samuel Paty, as well as to the “values ​​he defended through his teaching”. Tributes intended to “perpetuate his memory and never forget, but also to recall everyone’s unwavering commitment to freedom of expression”.

“The college has kept the annual medieval day that Samuel Paty had established and is concretely continuing the work of emancipation and instruction of Samuel Paty with his students”, underlines the community which also organizes a ceremony every year October 16 in tribute to Samuel Paty

“A monument in the shape of an open book and illustrated with caricatures on freedom of expression was inaugurated and installed on Place de la Liberté”, recalls the City. The latter also highlights its Youth and Citizenship Plan, including a citizenship passport, debate workshops on secularism, a media education exhibition (Cartooning for Peace), etc.

“Who really has control over this decision?” »

“Colleagues, educational teams, mayor… Everyone delights in their victim status, to the point of forgetting the real martyr: Samuel Paty. His parents, however, urge the mayor to have the college renamed. But who really has control over this decision? », Asks Paul Marion, the president of the association of Friends of Samuel-Paty, in a column published in Le Figaro, at the end of April.

“The mayor refers to the department… which directs to the principal… who judges that this falls under the National Education. In a college whose walls are managed by the department, the books by the region, the teachers by the state and the security by the town hall, everyone decides everything but no one is responsible for anything”, deplores this former student of the Bois d’Aulne middle school.

“Lost in the meanders of the territorial bureaucracy, I wrote to the Minister of National Education and to the President of the Republic. The latter have the politeness to answer, but by the courage to say whether, yes or no, this college should be called “College Samuel Paty”. According to them, it is up to the principal to decide. Which believes that it does not concern her. Back to square one,” concludes Paul Marion.

Rename the Place de la Liberté… d’expression ou Samuel-Paty?

“During a public meeting, I submitted the idea of ​​renaming the Place de la Liberté, located a few hundred meters from the Bois-d’Aulne college, and calling it Place Samuel-Paty, failing to exchange the name of the college”, explains Guy Derangère, co-president of the Conflan section of the League of Human Rights.

The City had installed a book on freedom of expression there with press cartoons in October 2021. (© Ville Conflans)

“How come a square, or even a path, isn’t named after him in the town where he practiced?” “Asks this Socialist Party activist.

No bust, street, square or media library…

“We could also have made a bust of him in a public place, or renamed the Samuel-Paty media library. I also proposed to rename the Place de la Liberté… d’expression. But I was told that it was under construction, so nothing for the moment…”, laments Guy Derangère.

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