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France: newly appointed education minister just withdrew her son from public school, and even took a complaint

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Start with a bang for the new French Attal’s government and, above all, for the new Minister of Education and Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra. After her recent appointment to this position, Amélie managed to spark a controversy, complete with a complaint.

Very few days after her ministerial appointment on Tuesday, January 16, she visited the public school in Littré, from which she had withdrawn her eldest son to enroll him in a private school. Waiting for her, however, were some 30 protesters, BFMTV reported. After all, the minister of education was so trusting of her new administration that she took her son out of public school. How could it get off to a better start?

Whistles and casseroles

The Education Minister was greeted with booing from people gathered “to defend public schools.” One of the protesters shouted directly at her, telling her to “like her children” and “go back to private school.” Other protesters chanted, “We have had enough of this policy, which is destroying state schools and only doing it for the money.”

Amélie Oudéa-Castéra was nonetheless able to speak with the teaching staff of the Littré school. “I was able to go back on the apology I owed them,” she said after the meeting. Last Friday, the minister spoke of hours “not seriously completed” in the public sector to justify sending her children to private schools, hinting that there were many absences among teachers not adequately replaced by substitutes. However, Libération revealed two days later that the teacher of the minister’s eldest son had never been absent.

Despite this mea culpa, on Tuesday, January 16, the Syndicat national des agents publics de l’Éducation nationale announced that it had filed a defamation complaint against Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, just to complete her welcome as minister. The complaint, which refers to comments made by the minister to justify sending her children to private schools, was filed with the Court of Justice of the Republic. This is the only court empowered to prosecute and try members of the government for crimes committed in the performance of their duties, reports Le Parisien.

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