CONFLANS-SAINTE-HONORINE | “It’s horrible”, “it’s crazy”, “we are afraid” … Misunderstanding reigned Friday evening near the college in the “calm” suburban district of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine in the Paris region, where a professor story was beheaded by a man shot by police.
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“Nothing ever happens here,” says Mohand Amara, a 45-year-old resident, who has walked his dog as usual along the Alder Wood College.
At the end of the Friday afternoon, horror invaded the usually peaceful streets surrounding the establishment.
On the eve of the All Saints’ school holidays, this professor who taught there was beheaded and his alleged attacker killed shortly after by the police a few hundred meters away, in the town of Eragny.
The anti-terrorism prosecution was immediately seized and President Emmanuel Macron visited the site in the evening.
This drama comes three weeks after a chopper attack perpetrated by a young Pakistani near the former premises of Charlie Hebdo in Paris.
Access to the street where the events took place is blocked by a security cordon, defended by many police officers.
“It pains me, more beheaded, it’s shocking,” blows Virginie, 15, who knew this teacher whom she has “fond memories” of when she was in fourth grade.
Beside him, Julia, a former college student who is now a high school student, came to the scene to “realize”. Other young people roam the scene, cellphones in hand, looking at an unbearable photo of the victim posted on social media.
Families, parents, some with their children in their arms, congregate on a sidewalk, dazed.
“I saw him (the teacher) today, he came to my class to go see our teacher, it shocks me, I know that I will not see him again”, confides Tiago, in 6th grade (11 at 12 years old), who observed the media effervescence alongside his parents, neighbors of the school.
“It seems like it only happens to others, but no, it’s right on our doorstep, it’s home,” slips his father, Alfredo.
“I do not know how we are going to do for the little one, we are 200 m from the college, we do not even know if we will let him go there alone” after the school holidays, he adds, specifying that several of his relatives had “seen the body on the ground”.
Nordine Chaouadi also came to the scene. “It’s the countryside here, nothing happens” usually, he blurted out.
His 13-year-old son, in 4th grade, is “too scared, he’s not well,” he repeats. He had lessons with this “geo-history” teacher who, he says, “used to tell them about Islam, caricatures and all that.”
“At no time did he want to be disrespectful, that’s what my son told me,” said Chaouadi. He explains that the professor had asked, last week, Muslim children to come out of his classroom so as not to be shocked by a cartoon of the naked prophet.
“There is only one little girl who stayed, who did not want to go out, it is this little girl who said that he had shown the photo of a naked man”, he continued.
“Apparently, he did not do it badly, my son told me that he did this to preserve the children, not to be upset, not to be shocked”, added this parent of a student. .
The sequence sparked heated controversy among some parents, said Chaouadi.
“I feel really bad, it’s crazy, it’s incredible (…) all the prophets, even Jesus, they have all been insulted for 2000 years, it is not new all that”, launches this father of four children of Muslim faith. “I’m confused, I can’t believe it.”