From Jules Ferry to Samuel Paty, the history of secularism in schools is marked by conflicts during which the Republic was able to defend an idea. It is not about destroying any faith students may have, but about teaching them to think freely. Secularism is not just one opinion among others, but the freedom to have one. It is not a conviction but the principle which authorizes them all, subject to respect for public order.
The tragic death of Samuel Paty struck our teachers in their flesh. He died because he was doing his job, because “the Nation sets the school as its primary mission to share the values of the Republic with students. “(Art L.111-1 of the education code).
Murdered for explaining to his students, during a moral and civic education class, the importance of freedom of expression. In France, teachers who pass on their knowledge are beheaded. Who could ever have imagined that such a tragedy could happen?
The answer must be up to the task.
This is good to get clear and strong answers but also to let them know my proposals, which I wanted to write to the Minister of the Interior and the Minister of National Education. My first speeches as a senator thus symbolically mark my commitment to a subject that is close to my heart, and that I always defended when I was a journalist, that of freedom of expression and information, pillars of a healthy society. and democratic process upon which social and economic growth is based.
So now what do we do? Words are no longer enough. The French expect fair, rapid and concrete measures. A few days before the start of the school year, teachers in France and all those who pass on the values of our Republic need to feel supported. We, citizens, students, parents, elected officials, must fight against the temptation of self-censorship.
The fracture is deep. We must fight the origin of this Islamist terrorism which, on October 16, attacked the spirit of the Enlightenment, our culture, everything that represents France. At the start of the twenty-first century, the prodigious progress of scientific knowledge has not set back irrational beliefs and superstitions.
Religious authorities are more than ever reminded of their responsibilities, not only for teaching their truth, but to prevent the abuses of those who, claiming their own ignorance, put themselves at the service of killer fanaticism.
As difficult as the task is, it is all the more urgent. Like the national harmony felt during the homage to Samuel Paty at the Sorbonne, may our entire nation stand up to eradicate this evil.