Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 05/31 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 05/31 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 05/31 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 05/31 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 05/31 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 05/31 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 05/31 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 05/31 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 05/31 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 05/31 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 05/29 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 05/29 14h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 05/29 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 05/29 16h03 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 05/29 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
France

27 school staff fired for paedophile offences

media French Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem speaks with a schoolchild as she visits an elementary school in Blois. AFP PHOTO/Guillaume Souvant

Twenty-seven members of staff in French schools and high schools were struck off in 2015 because of paedophilia-related offences, 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 offences 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.

Paedophile offences

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 paedophilia. 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 offences as serious as paedophilia or child pornography," Vallaud-Belkacem said.

Paedophilia legislation

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 authorised to scrutinise 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 centre 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. "Paedophilia 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."

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.