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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #272 - Education: A college against class contempt (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Wed, 24 May 2017 07:53:04 +0300

Faced with class contempt, political violence and the racist remarks of "decision- makers " and their spokespersons, the struggle was organized in the Mirail district against the closure of the Badiou and Bellefontaine colleges: the struggle was launched mainly By the women of this district. If this project succeeds, the 16,000 residents and inhabitants of Reynerie and Bellefontaine will live without college for several years ; They will have to send their children to remote settlements, without the conditions of reception being guaranteed. Behind this project lies a violent stigmatization of the working-class neighborhoods, a contempt for the citizens who live there, a neo-colonial assimilative will. Interview with Fanny,

Alternative libertarian: Who is at the initiative of this project and what are its objectives ?

Fanny: This project has a national and local dimension. At national level, it is part of a broad plan of social mix and within the framework of the mobilization of the school for the values of the Republic. In France, 84 institutions will undergo experiments under the label of social mix, but constituting an attack on priority education.

At the local level, the implementation of this plan has been delegated to the departmental councils. In Toulouse, experimentation, considered as the most ambitious, consists of closing down two colleges in the poorest district of the city, Badiou à la Reynerie and that of Bellefontaine, gradually emptying them of their pupils: in 2017, 6 th and 5 th the following year and, in 2019, complete closure of Badiou college. At the Bellefontaine College, the closure would begin in 2018.

The departmental council justifies this closure under the pretext of the failure of priority education and social mix, arguing that this neighborhood is a " time bomb " and that there is a duty to " civilization of the Republic ". These colleges, the county council have let them die without renovation works for years ...

The project envisages the possible construction of a new college within the next four to five years, but this is not at all guaranteed: the land is not bought and the budget is not guaranteed. In addition, if this institution is born, it would not be in priority education since the aim is to make social mix, a criterion taken into account in the allocation of the designation " priority education ". Meanwhile, pupils will be sent, according to their addresses, to more privileged institutions in the inner city or in the more remote suburbs, leading some pupils to make a 55-minute journey to their substitute school.

This project constitutes an attack, concerted and well in the air of the national time against priority education as a whole. All the schools that serve us will lose their priority education status within two years. It is also part of a more global attack on popular neighborhoods. In the Reynerie district, if you take the school and the college, there's nothing left. They will soon blow up the CAF.

What form has the mobilization taken ?

The mobilization was based on a parents / teachers / inhabitants' assembly which had already existed for many years and which is gaining momentum at every mobilization. It is made up mainly of inhabitants and parents of pupils. We are three to four teachers to go there each time. This assembly is very interesting because it proposes a framework of struggle really self-managed by the users and the workers of the public service. It was through this assembly that large demonstrations were organized in the neighborhood (during the strikes of 31 January and 2 March) which had not taken place since the bombing of Gaza. On 30 March 2017, a peaceful occupation of the college was also organized on the day when anyone could attend classes.

We have already done five days of strikes but overall we want no less school but more school: it is a little slogan of the assembly. We do not want to deprive students of a school we are defending.

What was the involvement of teachers in the project ?

At that level, it was more complicated. In Badiou, when we had the announcement at the beginning, many of them and they did not believe in it. For years the college has to be destroyed and nothing happens. In addition, behind this project, there are many good feelings like the social mix. Then the situation evolved as the project became more specific and the representatives of the county council showed incredible arrogance and contempt for us. They tried to tell us that our college was rotten, that we could not teach, and that there was violence all the time.

Finally, with the opposition of a majority of parents and the contempt of decision-makers, the majority of the college's faculty today is opposed to the closure of the college.

On the other hand, at the college in Bellefontaine, activists have more difficulty in mobilizing because they do not have as good a relationship as we do with parents. In addition, the parents' association is held by a person completely at the boot of the PS who spends a lot of time splitting teachers and parents. It is a shame because in Bellefontaine I am sure that there are parents who are opposed to the project but the institutional framework represented is fraught with the stakes of power.

And what was the reaction of the unions ?

The CFDT, Unsa and FSU are for the project but only the majority union, the FSU, is campaigning for its implementation. This is an obstacle that is encountered when touring all the primary schools concerned or in the host institutions in the different colleges. On the other hand, at the level of the unions opposed to the project, there is SUD Education but also FO and the CGT. It is an interesting intersyndical framework which in fact was that of the fight against the labor law.

What is the current state of mobilization and what are the prospects for the struggle ?

During the April holidays, there will be door-to-door sessions as we have been doing for a few months, teachers, teachers and parents, to sign a petition and to inform the parents of pupils of CM2 about the project which Was set up without any consultation with the main concerned parents of pupils. A lawsuit has also been filed to request a cancellation of the procedure, hoping at least to gain time to block the abolition of sixths next year. Eventually, it is also thought to file a legal claim on the merits of the case by attacking the county council and the rectorate for discrimination. Residents and residents of the neighborhood and parents are currently working on this issue with a lawyer.

Interview by Caesar (Al Toulouse)

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