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The sociologist and political scientist Dominique Schnapper, director of the Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) and honorary member of the con

Secularism at school : "enforce the republican order"

The sociologist and political scientist Dominique Schnapper, director of the Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) and honorary member of the con

Secularism at school :

The sociologist and political scientist Dominique Schnapper, director of the Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) and honorary member of the constitutional Council, was appointed chairperson of the Council of the wise, put in place last January by the minister of Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer. Interview.

READ ALSO >> Secularism, violence in school, Parcoursup : Blanquer is a coward

Can you remind us of the exact role of the Council of the wise ?

upon his arrival, the minister of national Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, has sought to strengthen the mechanisms already existing, responsible for ensuring the application of the principle of secularity in the school. It has expanded the academic teams whose goal is to train the staff of educational institutions, to help them in their daily missions and help by going on-site in case of infringement of the principle of secularism.

The Council of sages, was then appointed to support these cells local - as well as the national team that oversees -, reflect on the modalities of action the most relevant and to make proposals in this sense. "We need to stop putting the dirt under the rug", said the minister. It is essential that teachers and headteachers feel supported by the institution. Which, alas, has not always been the case...

Did you, prior to your work, started by making an inventory ?

We have heard several recognized experts such as the former inspector general of national Education Jean-Pierre Obin, the author of a major report which dates from 2004 but still authoritative today ("The signs and manifestations of religious affiliation in schools", ED) ; or again, Brice Dyer, director of the polling institute Ipsos, who came to present us with the survey commissioned by the Foundation of judaism French, that date to December 2017 ("The students and the relationship to the other college and high school : a view by teachers", ED) ; not to forget Iannis Roder, associate professor of history in a college of Seine-Saint-Denis, known for its qualities as a teacher with his students in what are called the "sensitive neighborhoods" (and author, among others, of the "lost Territories of the Republic", editor's NOTE) ; nor, of course, Souâd Ayada, the new chair of the Board of governors of the programs with which we found ourselves in perfect agreement. Then, it was necessary to move forward. No need to come to the whole earth. The condition of the premises, it knows that all too well unfortunately...

how do you respond to those who accuse the Council of elders to be "above ground", too much disconnected from the ground ?

This kind of assertion seems to me to be fanciful ! Only three of the thirteen members of the Board have not had a career of a professor and a former minister, a councillor of State and a journalist. The other, even if some of them are now like me retired, are pure products of the national Education. You can't accuse us of not knowing the terrain !

We have heard of tensions between the different members from the first weeks of the fiscal year of the Council. What is it ?

I guess that you are referring to the "leak" of the report of one of our meetings yet supposed to remain strictly confidential. One of the members of the Council of elders was unfortunately not adhered to this setpoint - or was not able to enforce it - and a part of our exchange, made during one of the sessions, which take place every fifteen days, was published on the website Mediapart. This has been a problem, but it has been resolved.

During these discussions, the possibility to ask Latifa Ibn Ziaten, very engaged in the fight against religious radicalisation, "to remove her veil on entering the class," has she been raised ?

one of us has issued what was merely an assumption, an element of free debate. It has transformed a question, pronounced in the middle of a two-hour meeting, in an affirmation, which is dishonest. Now we no longer circulate the minutes via the internet. Our general secretary and is available to members who wish to consult in his office. And everything is going very well. Our work is done in compliance with and listen to everyone, without contractions.

Specifically, on what topics have you been working on since the month of January ?

the offices of The ministry, responsible for developing a new vade-mecum of secularism, we have submitted for opinions. We contributed to a writing which is the fruit of a collaboration and that was, of course, subject to the guidelines of the department and the minister. This document will be distributed very shortly to all the school leaders and teachers of France.

But there was already a booklet of secularism, developed by the ministerial teams previous. How is it different from the first ?

This is obviously a direct continuation of the previous work. The vade-mecum seeks to be practical and to respond concretely to the needs of the field such that they occur on a daily basis. He gives advice and action responses to certain specific cases of infringement to secularism, while recalling precisely the texts in question.

We will try to contribute to the spread of secularism in the training of teachers. Then we will begin a reflection on the teaching of the religious fact. A lot of teachers say they are a bit lost on this subject. We will try to help them feel less alone and better equipped on these issues.

do you Have the vocation to influence the revision of certain legislative texts are sometimes very blurry ? The authorization or not of wearing the veil, in the mothers accompanying school trips can sometimes lend themselves to this interpretation...

When the law and the case-law set out clear conclusions and durable, it is simple. No need to discuss, they should be applied. But sometimes, the notice issued to vary with time, according to the policy guidelines. The minister Jean-Michel Blanquer has recently ruled against the wearing of signs manifesting ostensibly a religious belonging by parents accompanying a class. It is a personal position that he expresses for a long time and that is not in contradiction with the opinion (not a decision) of the Council of State on this issue and that is mentioned in the vade-mecum. In general, the vade-mecum recalls the texts and the various court decisions, while stressing the importance of dialogue. Nothing prohibits the school leader to initiate a discussion with the parents of the student on this question, it is even advisable.

The issue of the menus diverse is also often in the news. What does the law say ?

The position on the menus diverse, on the other hand, very clear : if the mayor, who is in charge of the canteen, would like to propose several menus, this is not a problem. If this is not possible, it is not required to do so. Similarly, for the days of religious celebration, the list of which is provided, the absences may be accepted, except in cases of force majeure, for example in the case of a contest or an examination. All this is recalled, but already exists. The vade-mecum is not a repetition of what is already established.

Read our complete file

Chalon-sur-Saône: the menus without pork validated Undermine the secularism of the school: 400 cases dealt with "The arab to the school must wear an integration project"

Have you managed to fall easily agree on all of these issues ?

once Again, we are talking about peace of mind and we have participated in the elaboration of the vade-mecum of very constructive way. There are clearly different sensitivities in the Council, but we are united by our adherence to the principle of secularism and the will to enforce the republican order.

Publish Date : 03 Kasım 2018 Cumartesi 21:29

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