Education: “True secularism and authority are disappearing in school,” says a teacher in Toulouse.

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Louis Musso, a former Toulouse teacher and sophrologist, writes an alarmist report on the state of the school in his latest book, “Can We Save the School Still?” For him, the authority of the institution and of the teachers is undermined. In particular, it questions an overly lax interpretation of secularism.

Your latest book is entitled “Can We Still Save the School? A deliberately provocative title?

Yes and no. After a whole teaching career, then admitting students with difficulties in my practice of sophrology, I could see two things: the authority of teachers is no longer respected, and teachers no longer know, or know too little, support the your students. . This observation has not really changed over the years, so I wonder if we can save the school. But even so, I still have faith in teaching. I have always told my students, even the most difficult ones, “I believe in you, and I will do my best to help you.”

“Students need a framework, an authority. They don’t like it when it’s a disaster”

Has the school’s authority framework disappeared?

Students need a framework, an authority. They don’t like it when it’s a mess, sorry for the expression. They want a strong teacher, who will not hesitate to punish them for bad behavior. Even the most “agitated”! And the faculty hierarchy must support them in this maintenance of the framework. It is paramount. The results are better in a school, a university, an institute, where the framework is respected. Intransigent.

However, an overly lax interpretation of secularism in particular has introduced certain concessions, which in your opinion has detrimental effects …

Absolutely. The law of July 3, 1905 on the separation of Church and State was a long struggle. Aristide Briand condemned several bishops and dozens of priests, who had called for disobeying the 1905 law! The Church is free, like any association, as long as it respects the law. Other religions, too. I agree with Elisabeth Badinter when she states that there are no two views of secularism. There is only one, which is established by the law of 1905. We invent “open” or “positive” secularism, which is no longer secularism.

“Secularism is undermined by some students or parents, but the central administration is afraid to intervene. It is the reign of the ‘no wave’

According to you, secularism is undermined within the school.

Badinter says it, secularism is not, nor should it ever be, the neutrality of the state. It then disappears as an instrument of control and social cohesion. Today the state creates the conditions for acceptance, where everything is equal, everything is equal, everything is equal. It takes off, it commits suicide in some way. It is not surprising that teachers have difficulty in the very content of their subjects of natural sciences, physical education, history. Secularism is undermined by some students or parents, but the central administration is afraid to intervene. It is the reign of the “no wave”. Any religion must be respected, but any religion must respect the rules of the secular Republic.

How did you, as a teacher, gain respect for your students?

First, the magic formula: “I’m here to help you.” And “if you want to work, the vast majority of you can succeed.” Rate them. Love them, listen to them. Greet them every day, one by one, one by one, recognize them as individuals. Too often they are sent a negative image of themselves, they are told they are useless. But most of all, it sets the stage. Quiet. Those who do harm are punished. Point. So I was 85% successful in high school, a class that everyone thought was lost, at the professional high school in Tournefeuille. I also introduced relaxation techniques and sophrology. And it works.

“Diversity in universities? Very good thing. A brave decision by President Méric”

How do you judge the operation “Mixité dans les collèges” promoted by the departmental council of Haute-Garonne?

It’s a very good thing. Children with difficulties should be removed from their environment, which often does not encourage learning. It was a brave decision that Georges Méric made. It “broke” the codes, and that’s fine. Parents are unhappy at first, which is normal. But the results are there, the children are progressing, because they are now in establishments where the framework is better established and more respected. Student diversity is a good thing. This example should be used throughout France.

“Can we still save the school?”, Louis Musso, Le Livre Actualités Editions, € 22, on sale at major online bookstores. Contact: [email protected]

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