“We have crossed an unimaginable threshold. We feel like nothing. I’ve done many jobs… I’ve worked in the factory. I have never been treated so disrespectfully”, Celia protests. This director of the Gérard Philippe College in Cergy (Val d’Oise) is on strike this Thursday, April 14, like some of her colleagues and teachers in this institution, located between the two priority districts of the city.
A social movement between two ballots, independent of the election context, affirm the employees of this university in the REP (Priority Education Network), which, according to the rectorate, accepts 630 students. “Every day the bosses say ‘fuck your mother’ and there is no reaction from our hierarchy. It’s a circus, it doesn’t teach anymore., regret, annoy, Christophe *, a young teacher who started his first job at this college at the beginning of the school year. The strikers are protesting what they experience as the abandonment of their superiors.
complaints and abuse
The last serious incident happened on Monday, April 11th. Célia, the young 21-year-old caregiver, was threatened by several young people, some of whom, who were not college educated, illegally entered the facility. “In the morning I asked a student to go to class and stop making noise. She refused and I lightly touched her shoulder. At 5:00 p.m., five people, some of them from outside the college, came to attack me in the hall ‘ says Celia.«The student in question was also present, a bit behind, even if she insulted me too. The young people threatened to hit me and told me that if I did it again it would have a big impact on me. My fellow guards eventually managed to kick her out. I had to go out through a door at the back of the college to get my car.”tells Celia Marianne.
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“But since then, this student is still in the establishment. The management explained to me that I had something to do with it, which I absolutely do not accept. I am very worried. I live near the school. I’m scared for myself. I risk being confronted outside by people I don’t know.”, the supervisor continues. She filed a complaint this Wednesday, April 13, for “repeated threats of violence and intrusion into a school’s premises.”
Célia also asked for functional protection, which obliges the administration to protect her, provide her legal assistance and repair the damage suffered. Contacted by Mariannethe Rectorate of the Academy of Versailles ensures that the student concerned did not take part in the attack, thereby justifying the lack of sanctions against him. Which the supervisor and her colleagues vehemently deny.
” No reaction “
“What upsets us is the lack of response and sanctions given the frequency of incidents. It makes the situation unbearable.”, Sturm Christophe, who has noticed a significant deterioration in the security situation since the beginning of the school year, to the detriment of the students and the educational institution. The employees interviewed report the case of a colleague who was threatened by a ninth grade student at the door of her apartment. Or those of college students having fun making flamethrowers with deodorant and targeting other students and adults without what they feel are adequate sanctions.
“Last week, at a parent-teacher meeting, the father of a high school dropout called out colleagues and threatened to catch them with the townsfolk if he didn’t get an appointment with them. He’s a gentleman who doesn’t have the codes, I’m sure his words exceeded his thoughts. We have not received any feedback from the hierarchy on the follow-up to this. My colleagues are really scared”remarks Marie*, who has been a teacher at the facility for several years and who has also just applied for functional protection.
The Rectorate is irritated without soothing
For its part, the Rectorate has the right to do so “the climate of the Gérard Philippe College measured in full”. It announces the foundation “a new protocol for school life from May 9, with a fortnightly follow-up of incidents and sanctions, a new management of delays, absences and the organization of the work of expelled or detained students”.
Measures that do not satisfy teachers. “The so-called new proposed protocol already exists but will not be applied. In addition, the date of May 9 seems very late to us, since we have alerted management to a situation that is dangerously deteriorating since returning from the All Saints’ Day holidays. The facts show that for far too long management has not “fully grasped” the seriousness of the incidents its employees have been exposed to.indicate the conspicuous staff Marianne.
“You Go in the Trash”
“Nobody wants to set foot here because it is dangerous and there are failures. The problem is not the students. When they are framed, accompanied and sanctioned, they eventually fit the mold.”, believes Marie, who taught in other institutions before joining Gérard-Philippe. In an internal survey conducted during the 2020-2021 school year, 92.3% of college staff estimated that the bylaws were poorly or poorly applied. 67.3% of those surveyed observed violence during their studies “very often”. The situation, which was very difficult 20 years ago – according to some teachers – had improved before deteriorating again in recent years.
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“When I did my apprenticeship, I was told, ‘You go in the trash can.’ The problem is that with Gérard-Philippe, a student tells himself that he cannot be dismissed because he is in college, where all those who are already excluded elsewhere end up. We should reconsider the sanctions in schools and not only in Gérard-Philippe.says a young supervisor who has been in office since the start of the school year in September.
“I really think there is a need to facilitate the implementation of sanctions and even systematize exclusions by involving civil society. A marginalized youth should not be a prisoner at home. Schools should work with associations to support them.”continues this supervisor. “Basically there are eight of us, but we are constantly understaffed. Every week people break down. Two weeks ago I had to take sick leave. I spend my time screaming, I can’t take it anymore”he insists.
“The Consequence of Thrift”
The Gérard Philippe College was burdened by large debts caused by the embezzlement of a former accountant. “The university budget is very limited. We do not have the facility for school trips that only need to be within a mile radius to avoid transportation costs. Some colleagues have not been able to make photocopies since February because they have exhausted their quota. That seems anecdotal, but it’s very symbolic. How are they supposed to do the job? »testifies Christophe, the young teacher.
“We are in the continuity of the ‘No Wave’. But workplace violence is a context. If you don’t have enough material, the quality of the course will suffer and the lessons will be much more difficult to administer. It is the result of all the stingy savings that are being imposed on us.”, analyzes Mathieu Moreau, member of the CGT training in Val-d’Oise, who teaches in another establishment. In recent weeks, his union has drawn attention to a deterioration in security in certain schools in the department, without receiving any specific feedback on the climate at the Gérard Philippe College in Cergy.
“We all plan to get out of there”
A new college is to be opened in Cergy at the beginning of the next school year. Teachers fear that the social mix will disappear as a result of the redrawing of the school plan. “We’re also risking going to 29 or 30 students per class while we’re in REP.”, worried Christophe. However, the rectory admits to watching it “with extreme attention that the new school map allows to maintain the mix within the establishment. The Services will be very attentive to any request for exemption..
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“I’m very scared of next year, we’re all planning to get out of there because we’re not going to survive. We need support and responsiveness in case of a problem.”warns Mary. “None of us have plans to stay next year. A colleague resigned yesterday. If I’m staying, it’s only because I know I would have had a hard time finding a new job two months before the holidays.”, adds Celia. Everyone hopes to get out of the isolation they feel immersed in.
* At their request, the first names of these employees have been changed.