Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Did Grace Mugabe's rise cause her husband’s downfall?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'When it comes to violence against women, the time to act is now'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Mnangagwa to be sworn in as Zimbabwe's president on Friday

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

The refugees of Manus Island

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Zimbabwe's Tsvangirai says he hasn't been asked to be part of new government

Read more

THE DEBATE

Palestinian reconciliation: Will Fatah, Hamas agreement succeed?

Read more

FOCUS

Could Pakistan be your next holiday destination?

Read more

THE POLITICAL BRIEF

Defeated presidential candidate Fillon bids farewell to French politics

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Charles Manson: Murderer and cult leader dies after 47 years in prison

Read more

France

French education minister says 27 school staff fired for child sex abuse

© François Guillot, AFP | French National Education minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem gives a press conference on February 19, 2016 in Paris

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2016-03-16

Twenty-seven members of staff in French schools and high schools were struck off in 2015 because of pedophilia-related offenses, Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said Wednesday.

Vallaud-Belkacem said most of those fired where male staffers. She did not say whether they were teachers or administrative personnel, nor when the offenses happened.

France was shocked last year by the disclosure that a school headmaster who had been appointed despite a previous conviction for possessing child pornography was charged with aggravated rape of several pupils. Earlier this year, a high school teacher who had been convicted in Britain 10 years ago was given preliminary charges of sexual assault after police found pornographic images and video in his mobile phone.

According to a report aiming at improving communication between the ministries of education and justice published Wednesday, 19 members of staff in schools and high schools were fired in 2014 in cases related to child pornography or pedophilia. There were 26 staff at French schools laid off in 2013 for the same reason, and 15 in 2012.

"We believe that a teacher, or an adult, or an administrative agent in contact with children can't work with children as soon as he has been sentenced for offenses as serious as pedophilia or child pornography," Vallaud-Belkacem told RTL radio.

Legislation forcing the Justice Ministry to keep education authorities informed of previous convictions will be adopted soon, she said, adding that the Education Ministry is now authorized to scrutinize the criminal records of all the teachers it employs.

"It will take about one year as we are able to check about 3,000 dossiers every day," she said. "Every case will be checked to see if, in the past, we missed some convictions."

Meanwhile, the French Catholic Church is also facing child abuse allegations that led Prime Minister Manuel Valls to urge a cardinal at the center of the scandal to take action. Cardinal Philippe Barbarin insisted Wednesday that he never concealed cases of child abuse reported to him.

Barbarin is among six church officials targeted in a preliminary judicial investigation that grew out of allegations that a priest had molested boy scouts in the 1980s.

"Whether it's school or church, I have a simple principle," Vallaud-Belkacem said. "Pedophilia is something extremely serious that destroys lives. The principle is no silence, total transparency. Those who think that things can be settled internally or by remaining silent are making a serious mistake. I will be firm and sanctions will be issued when necessary. I'm expecting the same from every institution."

(AP)

Date created : 2016-03-16

  • FRANCE

    French PM urges cardinal to act on child sex abuse scandal

    Read more

  • France

    French judge probes Church cover-up of child abuse

    Read more

COMMENT(S)