Can we break the law to condemn educational policy that harms our students? On Friday May 9, Victor Immortino, an English teacher at a vocational high school in the 17th arrondissement of Paris, chose to “take this risk”. After correcting his students’ undergraduate exams, he noted their “disastrous condition,” according to which the exam “prevents any innovation in education. Because we focus only on passing exams, undergraduate education prevents students from developing a real interest in a subject like English.”
So, that morning, in front of his high school, with a trash can and lighter fluid in hand, he set fire to 63 copies in a trash can. “Protest must be publicized” and immortalized by Le Parisian. Several media outlets have collected the words of the 30-year-old young teacher to describe his criticisms against national education.
No “freedom of opinion”?
This Friday, facing the Paris Criminal Court, where he is being investigated for “destruction by dangerous means” and faces ten years in prison, Victor Immortino still accepts his actions. The former teacher – who has left National Education but wants to develop an alternative teaching method – denies the dangerous nature of his act, promising to “bring a metal dustbin and take the necessary precautions to avoid the island. That school.”
The tahsildar today, facing questions from the court, said above all, “Think about the students before doing this act (…) The goodwill they all got after this act allowed them to repeat the exam better. conditions. The aim was to make people think about our teaching methods. »
To me, Victor Immortino’s lawyer, Celia Saffre, is part of an activist logic that the professor’s action should be protected by “freedom of expression.” A point that the Court of Cassation made several times, especially in 2022, after the actions of environmentalists who removed portraits of Emmanuel Macron.
However, Me Saffre argues that “questions surrounding teaching methods are undoubtedly of general interest.” Mr. Victor Immortino has also received many messages of support from national education experts. » An opinion contested by three judges, according to which Victor Immortino could have condemned national education systems through his unions. The teacher was fined 800 euros.
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