Confrontation Over Headscarf: French PM Announces Legal Action

France’s Prime Minister has announced that a teenage girl will face legal action from the state for falsely accusing her headteacher of assaulting her during a contentious confrontation over her wearing an Islamic headscarf.

The headteacher maintained that the student must remove her headscarf while inside the school premises, aligning with French legislation on the matter.

Following circulation of death threats on social media, the headteacher tendered his resignation.

The threat of Islamist extremism targeting French educational institutions has become a matter of grave concern, particularly since the tragic killings of two teachers.

Samuel Paty was brutally murdered in a Paris suburb in 2020, while Dominique Bernard was fatally attacked at his school in Arras five months ago.

The headteacher of Maurice Ravel Lycée in the 20th district of Paris, whose identity remains undisclosed, conveyed his decision to resign in an email sent to colleagues on Friday.

“I have ultimately opted to step down from my position,” he stated, citing concerns for his personal safety and that of the institution.

“After seven years of dedicated service, alongside you all, and a total of 45 years in the field of public education,” he expressed gratitude to his colleagues for their unwavering support during the past three weeks.

The incident, which occurred on February 28th, involved the headteacher instructing three female students to adhere to the law by removing their head coverings. While two students complied, a confrontation ensued with the third student who refused to comply.

Following the incident, the headteacher became the target of death threats on social media, prompting the school to report the threats to an interior ministry hotline.

According to prosecutors, two individuals were apprehended in connection with the death threats. Although their identities remain undisclosed, the education ministry clarified that they had no affiliation with the school.

In response to the situation, police patrols were dispatched around the school premises, and Education Minister Nicole Belloubet paid a visit to the institution.

Upon investigation, law enforcement officers found no evidence to support the claim that the headteacher had assaulted the student. Prime Minister Gabriel Attal has since intervened, announcing that the student will face legal action for making false allegations.

“The state… will consistently support these officials who confront challenges to secularism and attempts of Islamist infiltration in our educational institutions,” Attal affirmed.


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