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French march in protest of anti-Semitism Photo: AFP
French march in protest of anti-Semitism Photo: AFP
 
 

Teacher 'sends' Jewish student to furnace

Incident takes place in one of Paris' prestigious schools; police launches investigation into affair after student's parents file criminal complaint

Sefi Hendler
Published: 03.01.06, 10:16 / Israel News

PARIS – On Sunday, tens of thousands of people marched through the streets of the city of lights in a huge protest against anti-Semitism. It seems, however, that one demonstration, regardless of how big it was, is not enough to eradicate the ugly phenomenon.

 

The Le Parisien newspaper revealed Tuesday that a schoolteacher seeking to punish a Jewish student proposed that the boy "go to a furnace," Israel's leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Wednesday.

French Demonstration
Paris honors murdered Jew / AFP
Thousands of people protesting racism, anti-Semitism hold marches in France Sunday in memory of Ilan Halimi, Parisian Jew tortured, killed by violent extortion gang
Full story

 

The incident took place about a month ago at one of Paris' prestigious catholic school. During a physics class, a 10th grade student was busy chatting with his classmate.

 

The teacher, named Pierre, asked the Jewish youth to leave the classroom and wait in the yard, which the students and teachers refer to as "the fridge" because of the intense cold that prevails there during the winter.

 

But the punishment apparently did not suffice, and just before the student left the classroom the teacher told him that "if you don’t like it in the fridge, there is always room for you in the furnace."

 

Emotionally charged connotation

 

A number of days later, the student's parents filed a criminal complaint to the police, as well as a complaint to the supervisor of Paris' education establishment.

 

Two supervisors were sent to the school and began questioning the students and teachers.

 

The French word for "furnace" (four) bears a highly emotionally charged connotation in France. Therefore, many of the Jewish community members refuse to view the teacher's remark toward a Jewish student as an innocent slip of the tongue.

 

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