A national campaign by the Ministry of National Education to promote secularism at school has been debated on social networks since Thursday, August 26. Trade unions and politicians denounce a “Racist deviation” secularism.
This campaign, launched on the Internet and social networks, must be disseminated in schools and through posters. It was presented by Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer during his traditional back-to-school press conference.
On one of the eight posters, which depicts a little white boy alongside a little black girl, both in the water hanging from a pool edge, we can read: “Allow Sacha and Neissa to be in the same bath. This is secularism ”.
We recall that secularism is therefore the religious neutrality of the State. Twenty years of drifts later, we have come to … https://t.co/RZJZ6nomBU
“By mixing religion, skin color, supposed geographical origin (…), the poster campaign is on a dangerous slope, that of a racist and xenophobic deviation from secularism, based on a colonial imagination ”, denounces the Sud Education union (minority) on Twitter, asking to give up deploying it.
The CGT-Educ’action (minority) denounced, also on Twitter, a “Scandalous campaign” which mixes “Clichés and instrumentalization of a concept apparently badly digested”.
Scandalous campaign of the ministry on secularism. Poncifs and instrumentalisation of a concept apparently badly digested … https://t.co/yVj7J4Rq0F
A campaign that will “disrupt the work of teachers”
In a series of tweets, the history-geography group of SNES-FSU (main secondary school union) estimated that “This series of posters (…) will once again disrupt the work of teachers who strive to understand and apply this principle of the Republic in its most precise definition (historical and legal) ”.
Let @jmblanquer teachers work, offer them worthy training and resources … https://t.co/cC4bRWzXG7
“This campaign chooses to include the story of secularism in the daily life of students by relying on its concrete, indisputable and shared effects, as they experience them every day at school, college and university. high school “, specified the ministry in a press release.
A little earlier, on RTL, Jean-Michel Blanquer had launched: “Let’s not look for a new controversy, this campaign is made to unite and to remind people that secularism is at the heart of the French social pact and that we must all respect it. “
On the policy side, the regional councilor of Ile-de-France (PS) Jérôme Guedj regretted on Twitter a successful campaign “The feat of presenting secularism without talking about religions, separation of Churches and State, legal protection for believers and non-believers”.
Florian Philippot, leader of the far-right movement the Patriots, said on the same network that the posters had “Strictly no relation to secularism. And if Blanquer thinks so, it’s serious. Just state communitarianism. No more no less. “